Politics of naming candidates Eyes on BJP, Cong

The politics of choosing the candidate. Make it the candidate, in so far as the BJP is concerned while this line will may also hold true for the Naga People’s Front (NPF) in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency. The NPF has already announced the name of its candidate, but if the grapevine is to be believed, this has not gone down well with many and to get a better understanding of this observation one will need to go beyond the intending candidates who had queued up for the party’s ticket. This is where so many equations, such as the ‘region’ from where the wanna be candidates had sought the party’s ticket, the tribe from which he had come and more importantly the tribe/s which had backed his bid for the NPF ticket. As one scribe put it, the 2024 Lok Sabha election is going to be one of the most ‘contentious’ in recent times and the possibility of the vote getting aligned according to tribal/‘region’ affiliation is not something which can be written off that easily. Contentious as understood within the context of ‘interesting’ and as the same scribe put it, this is going to be one of the more challenging and interesting times for the media in Manipur. Remains to be seen if the Imphal based media can go beyond the routine press briefings and the official lines toed by the respective figures or political parties and dig a bit deeper to go into the politics that is played at the inter-tribe level as well as ‘regional’ interests. Adding more colour in the run up to the election are the recent attacks launched on the meeting held for the intending Congress candidate in the Outer Parliamentary seat. Guns are sure to ignite a sense of apprehension and fear amongst the people but yet at the same time such targeting of a particular candidate may just work in favour of the said candidate for people, especially the fence sitters who have not yet decided who to vote for may just decide to throw their weight behind the intending Congress candidate. This is a distinct possibility and voting day could just be the opportunity to cock a snook at the gun wielding elements, that is if the booths are not captured and proxy voting is checked. This is where the job of the Election Commission of India and the Chief Electoral Officer will be tested under the question ‘just how free and fair’ will the election be ? If morning shows the day then can one take the brazen twin attack at the meeting of the intending Congress candidate as the precursor of things to come ? A question which the election office should have raised within itself seriously by now.
And the politics behind naming the candidates continues. This is perhaps most visible in the manner in which different names have been doing the round. The BJP is yet to officially announce who would be fielded in the Inner Parliamentary Constituency as well as the Outer Parliamentary Constituency. The Central BJP leadership must have its reason for playing the card close to its chest, but this has only given room for speculations to do the round, adding to the confusion of the people and in some cases, piquing the interests of many. And perhaps the politics of naming the candidate can be understood in the context of the numerous names that have been floated as likely candidates of the saffron party in the Inner seat. Some of the names floated sound a little too far fetched, but the hand of ‘stories being planted’ is an overwhelming thought that comes to mind whenever one goes through the names being floated. Some names may be genuinely in the reckoning, but given that this would be a litmus test for the BJP in the backdrop of the ongoing ethnic clash, the saffron party must be hard pressed to study the potential of each and every potential candidate minutely. On the other hand, the politics of floating so many names as likely candidate may just be another political move to offset the strategy that may be hatched by the others, particularly the Congress. Given that the saffron party is yet to officially name its candidates  for the two Lok Sabha seats, the poll tempo is yet to hit full pitch in the Inner seat but with the last date of filing the nomination papers fast approaching, it will just be a matter of a few days. For the people of Manipur, the election is crucial and it is only right that the man best placed to voice the interests of Manipur in Parliament is sent to the Lok Sabha.