Roaring 40 in first list of Cong Waiting for BJP’s choice

Fluctuating fortunes and perhaps political fluctuations will rank right up there whenever ‘politics’ is underlined by the term ‘fluctuation’ and this must have been very clear to the leaders of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee. Not exactly a footnote, but in just five years the Congress seems a pale shadow of its earlier self and perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the absence of ‘drama’ over the announcement of the first list of its candidates on January 22.  Heading the list of the 40 candidates in the first list of the Congress is former Chief Minister O Ibobi and former Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and some other heavy weights whose influence does not seem to have petered out, despite the dominance of the BJP in the last five years. No surprise package this time around and like any other political party, some intending candidates of the Congress may have been left high and dry in two or three or four Assembly Constituencies, given that they had already started campaigning, but these are exceptions. A far cry from the earlier days when there used to be a beeline in front of the Congress party with intending candidates. One just has to look back at the 2012 Assembly election when the party was spoilt for choices with many lining up to be anointed the party’s candidate in different Assembly Constituencies. This is where the understanding of fluctuating political fortunes  becomes glaringly visible. Significant to note that the list of 40 candidates announced in the first list has at least 11 sitting MLAs and the interesting question is how many of them would be able to retain their seats. This question is important for remember the BJP has already made it known that it is eyeing to capture 40 seats and above and much will depend on how many of the sitting Congress MLAs are able to retain their seats. Today it is the Congress which has announced the list of its candidates and there are reports that other political parties will follow suit and surely it is the list of the BJP which everyone would be waiting with anticipation. The NPP and the NPF too are expected to follow soon with the names of their candidates and remember these are two important parties and how they fare can certainly go some way in influencing Government formation after the Assembly election.
With so many intending candidates lined up in each Assembly Constituency, it would be interesting to see how the BJP scripts its candidates list. At the same time, it would also be interesting to see how those who lose out in the race for the party’s ticket, decide their future course of action. Would it be a question of abiding by the decision taken, or will the intending candidates decide to contest the election on any other party’s ticket if they don’t get the nod from the BJP ? How would such an equation impact on the outcome of the election ? This is one point which the Congress must have already studied minutely and so too the NPP and the NPF. This is where the list of the BJP’s candidates can go a long way in deciding how many of its candidates actually win and how the others fare. A wrong choice of candidate can have a telling impact on the outcome of the election and this is something which the BJP think tank must be seriously working on. Afterall it is the winnability quotient of the candidate in question that can decide the outcome of the election. With Congress having already come out with its first list of candidates, one can expect the other political parties to follow suit and as noted here, it is the BJP’s choice which will be of utmost interest to the people. In the hill areas dominated by the Naga people, it is the NPF’s choice of candidates which will grab the attention of the voters there. How the ticket is allocated will go a long way in deciding how the voters make up their mind and to be sure there must be hectic lobbying and ‘inside politics’ being played, especially within the BJP as ticket allocation time is at hand.