Voting during Covid pandemic Intending candidates

Manipur goes to polls on February 27 and March 3. The fight, as seen by many, will primarily be between the Big Two, the BJP and the Congress. This much is clear. What however is not clear and which is being watched with much trepidation is when the different political parties will announce the list of candidates for the different Assembly Constituencies. This is all that more true for a party like the BJP where numerous intending candidates have emerged in numerous Constituencies. While this bodes well for the saffron party, in the sense that many see it as the best party to be associated with to get the blessings of the voters, it could also turn out to be some sort of a headache for the party. Already some big names from the Congress have jumped ship to the BJP and leading the pack is former Congress strongman and a man who has been synonymous with Bishnupur Assembly Constituency Govindas Konthoujam. Making his entry to the BJP more remarkable is the fact that his joining the saffron party was announced not here but at New Delhi in the presence of the top Central leadership of the party. Can his entry to the party upset the status quo within the BJP is a question which started doing the round, the moment his joining the saffron party was officially announced. It is not only Govindas Konthoujam who has deserted the grand old party but also Congress heavy weight from Tipaimukh Assembly Constituency Dr Chaltonlien Amo. Plus there are many others who come under the tag of intending BJP candidates in different Assembly Constituencies and this is perhaps where the first test of the saffron party will arise. Can one expect the other intending candidates to throw in the towel, once one of them is named as the candidate ? Can anyone write off the possibility of anyone of them emerging as rebel candidates, thus splitting the votes of the BJP ? These are all questions, but highly probable and this is one task that lies ahead of the BJP think tank. On the other hand, it is not likely that the Congress will face such a dilemma as the ground reality tells the story that some more Congressmen are understood to be in the waiting lounge ready for departure.
Obviously, the BJP cannot possibly accommodate all its intending candidates and perhaps this is where one may see more and more such people lining up for the NPP and other political parties, which may go along with whichever party comes to power after the hustings. As the big fight will obviously be between the BJP and the Congress this is where other political parties can have a major say in Government formation. To be sure, the NPP and the NPF, both partners in the BJP led Government will look to further increase their strength in the House of 60 and this is where one may expect a ‘not so friendly fight’ between these parties and the BJP in the coming Assembly election. In the Naga dominated districts, it is the NPF which is to watch out for while the NPP will hope to deliver a strong statement in the other ACs which may not necessarily toe the political line of the NPF. With the election code of conduct having already come into force, it will be interesting to see how judiciously the Election Commission of India is able to enforce its dos and don’ts. Lest it is forgotten, no one, least of all political parties, intending candidates, the supporters and others should forget that the virus is still out there and its rate of infection has picked up in  the last couple of days. Election with responsibility is then the call of the hour.