As expected and predicted in this column, it is a hung House, with the BJP managing to clobber up the needed support of other political parties to form the Government. With a score of 21 MLAs, the BJP managed to rope in four MLAs from the NPP, four from the NPF, one from the LJP, one from the AITC and one Independent. Interesting combination it is, for remember after a long, long time, the BJP, which is heading the coalition, has an ally in the NPF, which has a totally different political ideology than the BJP. It is the NPF equation which is interesting. Just how the BJP manage to keep the sheep together and keep the deeply polarised ideologies of the different political allies in its stable remains to be seen, and this is what is interesting. So after 15 years, a political party which claim to represent the interests of the Naga people, has come to be part of the Government and this is a welcome change. While questions may be raised on the commitment of the BJP to keep the interest of Manipur intact, it has to be nonetheless admitted that in supping with the NPF, the BJP may have pulled off a master stroke. If creating the seven new districts just ahead of the Assembly elections was seen as a political master stroke from the then Chief Minister O Ibobi, the BJP may be said to have delivered another master stroke by tying up with the NPF. Early days yet, and this is where the bargaining skill of the new Chief Minister N Biren will be put to test.
This is perhaps the best time to shed the ‘communal Government of Manipur’ tag used by Naga civil society organisations when there was a Congress Government here. With the NPF now being part of the Government, it is unlikely that Naga civil society organisations, particularly the United Naga Council (UNC), will use this term to tongue lash the State Government. A welcome change it will be for one and all. Identifying the State Government along communal line is the last thing that Manipur needs and with the NPF now on board the BJP led coalition Government, this may be put to rest. Adding more drama to the political situation is the decision of Andro AC MLA, Th Shyamkumar who got elected as a Congress candidate but decided to jump onto the bandwagon of the BJP led coalition. A big gamble this is, for remember Shyamkumar will certainly be disqualified and another by election is bound to be held. Which in this case says that he is confident that he will emerge victorious as a BJP candidate when the by election is held. Early days yet and the only thing that can be said with a degree of certainty is that the BJP will have to walk the extra mile to take the people and the coalition partners along without throwing the State into more chaos. How it handles the NPF will be interesting to watch in the coming days.
Source: The Sangai Express