If the trouble brewing in the State Congress is at all a family matter, then the family is certainly an unhappy family. The spokesperson M Oken of the present State government has blamed the media of blowing up the issue. It is not surprising, for the spokesperson is simply doing his duty. Being a spokesperson, it is his responsibility to paint a nice picture of the government even if it crumbles down to dust. In a way, a spokesperson also has a similar role with that of a flight steward, who has to maintain grace under pressure. A flight steward must comfort the passengers as much as he can, even when the flight is about to meet a midair disaster. But one cannot be pleased all the time. We believe the crisis in the Congress is going to have a snowballing effect after the Assembly Session which starts from July 11. On this very matter, the media cannot be blamed for reporting the news that has been brewing within the Congress’s coterie. How can we shirk from our responsibility of reporting those events which assumes significance of wider political implication in the State? As we have maintained earlier that the kind of political drama that we witness today is nothing new in the history of the Congress party. One can still recall how O Ibobi became the Chief Minister of Manipur way back in 2002. Before the 2002 Assembly election, the State Congress party was going through a major crisis, as most of its heavyweights were seen deserting the party looking for greener pastures. O Ibobi was one important man who remained loyal to the party despite the tumultuous political climate of shifting loyalties that was prevalent then. His loyalty to the party earned him a name in the ‘Good Book’ of the Congress high command in Delhi. O Ibobi’s name was almost unheard in the State politics then, though he had represented Khangabok Assembly Constituency as a Congress MLA long before he became the CM. However, we do not mean to say that the phenomenon of shifting party loyalties got ended with O Ibobi becoming the CM in 2002. It has been going on still. The latest was of a chunk of MLAs from Manipur State Congress Party getting merged with Congress. Among the dissident MLAs names also include former MSCP member who had joined Congress recently. In fact, the Congress party has seen a large number of politicians getting migrated into the party. This is because the Congress has been able to retain power for a third consecutive term. One of the chief arguments of the dissent group is that people of their respective constituencies have voted them with the expectation that their elected members will hold a portfolio in the ministry. They have maintained that this expectation must be met if the party wants to win the next Assembly election, with the same thumping majority that they have won last. The irony of the argument is that the ‘majority factor’ is also one of the root causes of the imbroglio. No doubt, self-interest guided by the temptation of power and ‘hidden benefits’ that comes with it have been the factors behind the reshuffle drama. Now that the political scenarios in the country have changed after the defeat of the UPA government in the center by the BJP led NDA, we have also witness mass political migration into the BJP pastureland in the State. The possible minor reshuffle as stated by the spokesperson is not going to please the jumbo size of dissidents. Anything could happen after the State Assembly Session. Who knows, Congress Bhawan might get deserted again.
Leader Writer: Senate Kh