Brain storming session of the Congress Soul search needed

Does the Congress need a brain storming session, spread across two days to come back to the reckoning ? Or does it need a sincere soul searching exercise to acknowledge where it went wrong in the 15 years it was in power here at Imphal. One irrefutable fact is the Delhi effect. Manipur still has to open the umbrella when it rains in Delhi and many would ascribe the good showing of the BJP here in the just held Assembly held election to the stupendous performance of the saffron party in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. This is an irrefutable point, however much the State unit of the BJP may say to the contrary, and one may say with a certain degree of conviction that the BJP will return to power, if the Lotus blooms in New Delhi after the 2024 Parliamentary election. This is the political umbilical cord that ties Imphal to Delhi, and this is where it becomes important for the Congress here to etch its own Manipur specific identity and the two days brain storming session that is underway should be the ideal moment for the party to dwell on this. The important question is whether the State Congress leadership is in a position to chart out its own policies and give the impression that what happens at Delhi may not necessarily reflect here at Imphal ? As long as the Congress here is unable to sketch its own distinct identity, piggy riding on the back of AICC leadership to return to the centre stage here seems far fetched, for Modi seems to stand heads and shoulders above them. Two days brain storming session, this is how the Congress here has christened its programme and this is where it becomes important to question which of the two the Congress needs more-Brain Storming Session or Sincere Soul Searching with the conviction that the coat and suit of 2012 and 2007 are no longer in fashion. What appealed to the people in 2012 or even 2017 will no longer hold water when the time comes for Manipur to go to polls in 2027. And this is where the sincere soul searching part becomes indispensable. A sincere soul searching exercise should then mean it should be able to answer why it has no presence in the hill districts, particularly in the Naga dominated Assembly Constituencies. Can it withstand the challenges likely to be thrown up by the Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA), in say Churachandpur and Kangpokpi district ?
Come to think about it. The oldest political party in the country and the party which has ruled Manipur for the longest period of time after it attained Statehood not to speak of the three consecutive terms in office has the same number of MLAs as the NPF in the Assembly with five today. To think that the NPF is a regional political party, with its headquarters at Kohima and the depth to which the Congress has plunged in the five years it was out of power stands out starkly. The brain storming session here then should focus on how the Congress can be a responsible Opposition. It did start off somewhat on a promising note as the main Opposition after the 2017 Assembly election, but this soon petered out. A classic example that the leadership within the Congress here was unable to keep its flock together once out of power. This is where a drastically different approach would be needed and the brain storming session should concentrate on this by searching its soul sincerely. The first apt question to ask would be why it managed to alienate some section of the people during the 15 years it was in power and why the 15 years rule of the Congress became synonymous with bandhs and blockades. A sincere and honest answer here would be the right approach and the right start to the two days session, though it stands that the session is already underway. Plus stop harking back on the ‘golden’ period of yester years and concentrate on the present and the future. The bottomline is, Manipur needs a strong Opposition.