Compulsion of power politics Onus on the voters

The compulsion of power politics-this is what may be read into the presence of so many intending BJP candidates in almost all the Assembly Constituencies and more so in the number of Congress MLAs who have switched side to the saffron party. At the moment, to the many leikai poll pundits and those who have taken a more than cursory interest in the run up to the Assembly election, it is a matter of counting or speculating how many seats either the BJP or the Congress will win after the election. Central to the exercise of reading the tea leaves and gazing at the crystal ball is the question of which party will form or lead the Government after the election. Nothing wrong in this, but it would also help all that much more if some questions are raised on whether it is only a strong Government Manipur needs or also a strong and effective Opposition. This is a question which conscientious citizens of the land should be raising now, for the question of how efficient or capable a Government is, depends to a large extent on how strong the Opposition is. This is a point which should not have blown over the heads of the many elected honourable MLAs and politicians who change sides, all with an eye on power. It also stands that at many times, it is the urgings of the supporters or backers of any candidate to try to be on the side of the party which form the Government which is hugely responsible for the party hoppings that Manipur has seen in the last couple of months and years. This is where the call for a conscientious and ‘educated’ electorate is called for. Manipur knows  some veteran politicians, who during their long political career, became synonymous with the Opposition and who at one point of time never changed sides. This is where one is reminded of those days when the late and venerable Rishang Keishing was the lone Opposition member in the House of 60, when all the rest had jumped fence in a bid to be on the Treasury bench ! The veteran O Joy is another personality who made a mark for himself in the politics of Manipur as the one man Opposition, so much so that the O which denotes his surname, otherwise came to be called Opposition. It is another matter that O Joy has since changed his persona and is today with the Congress, after having supped with the BJP earlier !
The point is, all political parties are in the fray to try and be part of Government formation. This is natural and this is how it should be. But yet at the same time this should not mean that occupying the Opposition bench should belittle a political party or a politician whose party is not part of the Government. Obviously this is a tall and ‘impossible’ order for all those in the fray to follow, but for the people, this would mean so much. In the initial days, after the BJP assumed power following the 2017 Assembly election, the Congress did seem to dispense with its duties as a responsible Opposition, keeping the BJP led Government on its toes, but as time progressed, the true colour of many pretenders within the oldest political party started emerging, so much so that now it is difficult to even say off hand how many Congress MLAs are there in the present Assembly. This is where people would need to sincerely ask themselves what is it that they expect from the Government. Is it freebies that the voters are after, is a question which can be understood by all and this is should say something concrete. According to what criteria are people going to caste their vote ? Is it going to be the past performance of the different political parties, while they were in office or while they were out of power ? Or is it going to be dictated by personal equation ? More importantly, is it about which party is in power at New Delhi and hence likely to form the next Government at Imphal ? These are all questions which the voters should ask themselves before they punch the button of their choice on the EVM.