Candidate delivers a point Ugly turns on voting day

It should be obvious to all. April 19, 2024 definitely belonged to Angomcha Bimol Akoijam of the Congress and this is regardless of the outcome of the polls. Even as the day belonged to the Congress candidate, it also stands that quite a number of  false ‘Gods’ were stripped of their halo, a halo previously given by the people. As far as memory can take one back, this is perhaps the first time that a Parliamentary election here has taken such an ugly turn. This can be related to the immense interests that the Parliamentary election evoked amongst the people which again can be connected to the ongoing ethnic clash that has killed over 200 people, displaced thousands and razed and levelled hundreds of houses to the ground. Manipur will have to wait for more than a month before the result is declared and regardless of the outcome of the vote count, it should be clear that the Congress or rather its candidate was able to steal the thunder from the party heading the Government not only at Imphal but also at New Delhi. One may also connect the dots and understand the ugly turn of events as well as reports of muscle flexing exercises as an outcome of the serious challenge posed by the candidate fielded by the Congress of INDIA Bloc. This should more than underscore the point that the oldest political party in the country has already won half the battle and this could be the perfect launch pad for their future political endeavours. The sponta-neous reactions from the people cutting across party affiliations should more than say something significant about how people are so fed up of the arm twisting methods adopted by some elements, a point so aptly demonstrated by the protests launched by the common people, especially the womenfolk. A demonstration that decency and the belief in a fair fight are principles which are closely associated with the character of the Meitei people. The stake was high, no doubt about that, but the muscle flexing exercise and throwing one’s weight around certainly did not go down well with the people, and while the outcome of the election may go any way, it can only work to the advantage of the party which was seen to be at the receiving end. Remember the fate and importance of a political party cannot and does not rest alone on the outcome of an election, a point which the foot soldiers of the BJP would not have forgotten.
The vote has been cast and the answer on whether people have learnt anything from the last 11 months is something that will be known only when the result is declared, but it is already clear that the people will object and even revolt when their free will to exercise their right is threatened to be trampled upon. It is this spirit which must be noted and acknowledged. At the same time it is also right that questions should be raised on why some elements have come under the impression that they can throw their weight around and add to their nuisance value. As noted earlier here, this is the first time that Manipur has seen the Lok Sabha election eliciting so much interest as well as drama and one need to understand why the stake is so seemingly high for the Big 2-the BJP and the Congress. The high stake for either side could be due to different reasons, but it should not be forgotten that it can only make the stakes that much more complicated if the voice and the rights of the people are sought to be muffled and trampled upon. It was not the security personnel or polling personnel on duty which cracked down on those seeking to disrupt the election but the very set of people whose rights to choose the representative of their choice was seen to be threatened. If at all a lesson is to be drawn from the April 19, 2024 Parliamentary election, people will not just stand by whenever the understanding of ‘elect’ is sought to be replaced by ‘select’. The past 11 months and the ugly incidents of April 19, 2024 should jolt awake the people to the ugly reality.