Out of power for nearly five years Cong in ‘disarray’
Out of power for nearly five years and suddenly the Congress looks like a deer caught the headlight of a heavy vehicle, not knowing which way to turn. With tongues wagging and so many ‘unofficial’ talks doing the round, many read the resignation of MLA Govindas Konthoujam as the president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee as just the precursor of things to come. This line of thinking has also been bolstered by the fact that the Supreme Court of India is set to deliver its judgment on the Parliamentary Secretary posts on July 26 in which 7 BJP MLAs have been named for holding office of profit. Precursor of things to come and this may just mean that more Congress MLAs are likely to follow Govindas Konthoujam and with elections just about 7 months away, resigning from the Congress and even the Assembly at this stage can be seen as taking a big, calculated gamble just before the Assembly elections scheduled in the early part of next year. The BJP too must be witnessing the unfolding drama with excitement for this falls in line with their much tom tommed slogan Congress Mukt. For the moment, the All India Congress Committee has deputed its man in charge of Manipur, Bhakta Charan Das to take stock of the situation here but it is not likely to change things for the oldest political party in the country here in Manipur. Given the way the party has been tottering from one crisis to the other (Remember the last by elections held in five ACs, where it failed to win even one seat), it would be something like a miracle if it can win even half of the 28 seats it won in the 2017 Assembly elections. In a way it is something of a tragedy that the party which has governed Manipur for the greater part of time ever since Manipur attained Statehood in 1972 should be today reduced to a whimpering political party, with many eager to jump ship.
It is like abandoning the sinking ship and ironic it is but true that the demise of the Congress seems set to be scripted from within without much help from its primary adversary the BJP. Interesting it will be to see how things develop, but the stake is obviously high for remember the Supreme Court will deliver its judgment on July 26 and the best option left before the BJP would be to wean away some Congress MLAs to switch side and save the Government. The reading is, let some of the Congress MLAs who are ready to jump ship, resign from the Assembly and the party. This line of conjecture seems logical enough for remember Assembly election is just a few months away and even if they resign now, they can be inducted in the Council of Ministers and stay there for another six months, by which time the next Assembly elections would be at hand. How things actually unfold will only be known in the next few days, but in a way it is unfortunate see the party of Nehru, Patel, Tilak and Gokhale reduced to this state right now. All indications that the oldest political party in the country cannot do much from sinking when it is out of power.