Winners take it all. And obviously the BJP is on a roll. The after effects of the 2014 Lok Sabha election continue to cast its shadow on Manipur and if the BJP managed to break the monopoly of the Congress and wrest power after a bitterly fought Assembly election recently, winning the Rajya Sabha election is the proverbial icing on the cake. It is not only a question of the BJP winning the election hands down, but also the fact that it managed to grab the Rajya Sabha seat with the support of at least 7 Congress MLAs, six of whom who had earlier switched sides to the BJP. One Congress MLA cross voted, meaning the MLA voted for the BJP candidate and this must have made things all that more bitter to the Congress.
Here is a party which emerged the single largest political party after the election sending 28 MLAs to the Assembly, but today it stands at only 22 with six having crossed to the BJP earlier. Making things worse for the Congress is the cross voting by one of its MLAs in the Rajya Sabha election. So Manipur will now see a Rajya MP representing the State at the upper House of Parliament and while K Bhabananda is obviously a well known face within the BJP, it stands that he became a public figure here only after he was named as the president of the State unit of the BJP. The question that must be on the minds of the people will obviously be what one can expect from him as an MP representing Manipur. Time will tell if he can make a difference to the presence of Manipur in the Upper House of Parliament but it is nonetheless good to know that someone from the rank and file of the party is today the Rajya Sabha MP.
If the BJP is on the rise then does this mean that the Congress is a spent force having no presence in the State today ? This is a question which only the Congress can answer and try to make such a question inappropriate. Winning or losing an election should not make or mar a party. The Congress can still be a force to reckon with but what it needs is a fresh approach to the many issues plaguing the State. It could have been anti-incumbency that saw its numbers coming drastically down from the 42 seats it won in 2012 to the 28 seats this year but still the message that it needs to pull up its socks and see how it can be more meaningful to the people should not be lost on the think tank of the oldest political party in the country. As the numbers indicate, desertion has already begun to hit the Congress but this should not be taken to mean that it is the end of the road for the party.
There is still so much more that it can do. For one, the leadership of the Congress should sincerely ask themselves the question of why so many of its leaders are not accessible at all to the public. Open up a little more if you want to be counted as a living and kicking party, is the message that The Sangai Express would like to convey. Time also to move on from the days of surrounding itself with a bunch of coteries. Manipur certainly need a strong and vibrant Congress for ultimately a strong Opposition is something good for the people and the land.
Source: The Sangai Express