Dr Th Suresh Singh
With state assembly countdown approaching fast, Manipuris are awaiting the result with a deep breath. Time for accusation to each other political parties regarding blockade is gone. Every candidate is having a do or dies fight in their respective assembly seat with their opponents. The question in everybody’s mind is – who will win the election, the BJP or the Congress? A hung assembly or one without an absolute majority by either major political parties! Though, a month or so back, one opinion poll gave the BJP an absolute majority, the scenario is still not clear. It seems to me a neck and neck fight with BJP having an upper hand.
However, PM Modi’s rally at Langing Achouba on 25th February assured the public 3 things- i) framework agreement will not only infringe territorial integrity but also Manipur integrity, repeat the word Manipur integrity ii) to root out corruption fully and punish those responsible for it and iii) providing job opportunity to the youth. A major swing in favour of the BJP seems the certainty. Then the big question is – how much? It is the numerical game that counts. With public appreciating PM’s monologue and style to swing, BJP definitely had the upper hand. The party’s count for a majority seems to be fulfilled. With the party and PM assuring the public categorically about the integrity of Manipur boundary and Manipur integrity, the public seems to be in favour of a new Govt. under BJP.
Though your Opinion Maker is not a god or a pollster, my common sense tells me that BJP is heading +30 with Congress hovering around 15-20. Smaller parties and independence can count around 10-15 seats.
Tragedy for the Congress: Ibobi’s stock was very high during the earlier stage of district formation. Had he handled the economic blockade with a seasoned politician/party, it would have been his 4th term Govt. What I mean is that if he opened the 2 NHs and provide petrol and essential items, as is done now, without blaming the Centre, the result would have been in his grips. At that time, BJP stock was very low with added infightings. At that time many blamed BJP for the bad blockade. NDTV’s Monideepa Banerjie interviewed me personally and was asking me merit and demerit of the present blockade in respect of the 2 parties. I replied that district formation was a +ve point for Ibobi and blockade is a –ve point for the Congress simply because of mishandling. Added to this, the incumbency factor, hence, it is logical that the Congress’s escapade rout is very sleepery.
Fortunately for BJP, people had realised now that the Centre has done its duty by providing enough force, warning the UNC and facilitating the 3 way meet. People seem to appreciate Centre’s role now. I have told the same to Monideepa Bannerjie. It should be emphasised now that the credit for availability of petrol and other essential commodities goes to our Hon’ble High Court who forced all concerned to do their assigned job. Nobody can take its due, nor should one try to mislead. Hats off to our learned 3 Judges and the Hon’ble High Court. Fortunately we had heard less of the political mudslinging now.
Hence with this scenario + Manipur integrity + Modi’s election speech is definitely swinging the voter in BJP favour.
Who will then form the Govt.? As stated above, BJP will form a govt at its own. The 2nd option is – with a few seat short of majority, it will take the help of independent and smaller parties and form the Govt. And, in the unlikely last option of having a single largest seat (not absolute majority) by the congress – there will be Aya Ram and Gaya Ram . A section of congress will split and support the BJP- the recent Maghalaya style.
Hence my prediction of – With or without majority, BJP is bound to form the next Govt. in Manipur.
(The writer is ex-Director of Health Services, Manipur)