Switching side from JD (U) to BJP Political acrobats
It was an impressive show. Other than the NPP and the NPF in the Naga dominated districts, it was the JD (U) which somewhat put a brake on the BJP blitzkrieg, and let the saffron party settle for 32 seats in the Assembly elections held in the early part of this year. Six MLAs in a House of 60 and suddenly the Arrow seemed to have registered in the minds of the voters, and keen and neutral political observers must have surely welcomed this development. There are reasons for this. The NPP is not something new, with Chief Minister of Meghalaya and party’s chief Conrad Sangma campaigning extensively for the party prior to the Assembly elections. Sangma was also the rallying point for many during the peak of the anti-CAB movement in the North East region at one point of time before it became an Act. The NPF too is not a new entity with its influence running deep in the Naga dominated districts and just rewind to the 2012 Assembly election and it was Nephiu Rio, who was then with the NPF, turning out to be one of the star campaigners. The Kuki People’s Alliance is a new entity but it did creditably well, bagging two seats in the just held Assembly elections. The surprise package was the JD (U) and it was surprising to see a party based at Patna doing creditably well returning 6 MLAs in the 60 member Assembly in the elections. However as things have turned out, it seems that the good showing was just a brief honeymoon, with five of the 6 elected JD (U) MLAs having switched sides to the BJP. Neat political acrobatics is a term that comes to mind and without a doubt, the one with the whistle overseeing the acrobatics of the honourably elected members of the JD (U), is the BJP. Already the saffron party has rolled out the red carpet for the party hoppers, with Chief Minister N Biren himself and State unit president of the BJP receiving them with bouquets at New Delhi just one day after the merger of the five MLAs with the saffron party was announced for one and all to hear and read. A meeting with BJP president JP Nadda anytime in the next few days appears to be on the card and making things all that more interesting is the report that the Congress and the JD (U) may move the High Court of Manipur as the merger move allegedly violates the Anti-Defection Act.
Tough to say when the Speaker’s Tribunal would respond to the move of the Congress and the JD (U), but if the past is any indication, it may need more than a prod from the Court to get the ball rolling. And if the past is any indication then at least Manipur may see by polls in 5 Assembly Constituencies. When is the question. So a case of, when it rains in Bihar or Patna, the umbrella comes out here or is it a case of politics seen in all its sublimeness ? After JD (U) supremo Nitish Kumar called it quits with the BJP and went ahead and formed the next Government with the RJD at Bihar more than a month back, the move of the five erstwhile JD (U) MLAs should not come as too much of a surprise. But an ugly development it is and here is one case which has gone to underline the fact that ultimately when it comes to the question of power, there is not much to differentiate one party from the other. It is all about power and in the case of the five MLAs who have recently ‘merged’ with the BJP, it was a question of being near the power centre. How well the ‘merger’ move of the five MLAs would have gone down with the people is anybody’s guess, for like what the honourable elected members have done, the voters here too are fickle minded, unable or unwilling to see beyond their noses. What however will stand true for all time to come is the point that the five MLAs were elected as JD (U) candidates and not wannabe BJP MLAs, though they may have been after the saffron party’s ticket for some time earlier. The unfolding drama will be interesting to watch.