Ditching Cong, embracing BJP Not seen as party hopping

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In deciding to leave the Congress and join the BJP, Y Erabot, the political strong man from Wangkhei Assembly Constituency has rung out a very important message. The Congress should take note of this. It is not only about an individual leaving the party, but is a reflection of where the BJP stands and this certainly cannot be comfortable for the Congress. A situation unthinkable prior to 2014, but after the BJP routed the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls more than two years back, it has been going from strength to strength and this is also being felt in the political firmament of the State. From no MLA in the 2012 Assembly election, the BJP today has two MLAs who stormed the by election at Thangmeiband AC and Thongju AC. Not without reason that many interpreted the results of the by elections in the two Assembly Constituencies as something more than the loss of the Congress candidates but also the loss of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister. Just recall how the two leaders of the Congress Government went all the way while campaigning for the Congress candidates in the two ACs. Now comes the decision of Y Erabot to shift allegiance to the BJP and things certainly cannot be comfortable for the Congress.
That nothing was right between Erabot and Chief Minister O Ibobi is known to everyone and surely the man from Wangkhei Assembly Constituency will be remembered as the man who personally led hundreds of goods laden trucks to Imphal from the Imphal-Jiribam highway without additional security escort during the marathonesque highway blockade imposed by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur sometime in 2010. Back then Erabot was the hero, the man of the hour while the Chief Minister was seen as someone who failed to extend the needed co-operation. It is this image which will stand by him, an image which says that Erabot is a man of action ready to do away with all the niceties of protocol. Early days yet but interestingly in ditching the Congress and joining the BJP, not many people see this as party hopping for political advantage but more as an act of revolt against the leaders of the Congress party. This again will see him in good stead and this is something which is important given that Assembly election is scheduled for the early part of 2017.

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