Is this the beginning of the end of the Congress in Manipur ? This question is relevant in the backdrop of the fact that of the 28 MLAs elected in the just held Assembly election, two have already deserted the Congress and switched sides to the BJP. A tragedy it is that such a question has become important for the party which ruled Manipur for three consecutive terms or 15 years. This is apparently the Modi effect and with the Lok Sabha election scheduled to be held in 2019, things certainly do not look good for the oldest political party in the country. A party which has ruled the country for the greater part of time after independence in 1947, the Congress is today more like a rudderless ship being tossed around by the waves kicked up by the Modi effect across the country. No doubt, the Congress emerged the single largest party after the Assembly election with 28 MLAs, but ultimately could not find the needed three other MLAs to reach the magic figure of 31, while the BJP had already tied up with numerous other regional political parties, way ahead of the Assembly election here. A clear reflection of the sharp edge that the BJP leaders have against the Congress leaders. It is such strategic tie ups with other political parties which will stand the BJP in good stead when 2019 comes. Still two years away and while it is certainly early days yet, neither the BJP nor the Congress can sleep over the coming Lok Sabha election. Manipur may get to send only two MPs to the Lok Sabha, but the coming election will not be taken lightly by the two political parties and the manner in which some MLAs have started crossing the floor to be with the BJP will surely impact on the Lok Sabha election when the time comes.
To be sure the BJP will not only be looking at ensuring the stability of the BJP led coalition Government but will definitely be looking ahead to the 2019 Parliamentary election and with Modi still going strong at Delhi, the Congress must have started feeling the heat. The Modi effect is going strong, but this should be no reason for the State unit of the BJP to unduly take comfort in this. Chief Minister N Biren, State unit president of the BJP K Bhabananda and other State BJP leaders should try to see how to neutralise the effect of the 26 MLAs which the Congress still has with them. The local MLAs can certainly go a long way in influencing the voting behaviour of the voters in the Lok Sabha elections and this is where the BJP will need to study how to minimise or neutralise the impact of the 26 Congress MLAs when 2019 comes. As stated early, it is early days yet, but the need for the BJP to strengthen its organisational strength from the grass root level need not be over emphasised here. So two Congress MLAs have switched over to the BJP and surely the BJP will be looking forward to take more MLAs from the party which ruled the State for 15 years on the trot. Worrying days for the Congress, but certainly not the time for the BJP to gloss over this and forget to translate their promises into action.
Source: The Sangai Express