It is clear and this will be another headache for the BJP. It is not only the Congress which the BJP will have to fight it out with but also the others who were denied the party’s ticket. With so many of the BJP intending candidates now jumping onto the bandwagon of other political parties to contest the election, it is more than clear that the much tom tommed slogan that all will back the one given the BJP ticket at the hustings, has been given the quiet burial. So it is not only the Congress which the BJP will have to contend with but also the former aspiring candidates of the BJP and this will definitely be to the advantage of the Congress. It is here that all, particularly the BJP, need to understand what it means to be in power for the last 15 years. Many of the candidates which the Congress has fielded this time are in a way veterans and this in effect can mean that they have managed to build up a vote bank down the years. Something which the BJP does not have. There is of course the anti-incumbency factor, but the ongoing blockade and the Framework Agreement signed between the BJP Government at the Centre and the NSCN (IM) could just about nullify this factor and this is where the question of vote bank becomes crucial. In a way it would have been much better if the BJP is locked in a straight fight with the Congress in the valley Constituencies. Even in the hills, the three way fight in the Naga dominated districts, with the NPF having considerable clout, will be to the disadvantage of the BJP which in turn could mean an advantage to the Congress.
So from aspiring BJP candidate it will now be candidate of some political party and this is something which the saffron party will need to seriously take note of. In way this means that there is a high possibility of the non-Congress votes getting divided and this can only be to the advantage of the party which has been in power for the last three terms. How the BJP goes about dealing with this remains to be seen and things could have been better if only they had announced the names of the candidates earlier. It is taking this reality into consideration that a number of political parties have come together under the banner Left Democratic Front, Manipur. Again a number of candidates who were denied the BJP ticket have joined other political parties such as the Manipur National Democratic Front (MNDF) and North East India Development Party (NEIDP). Tough to say how long the newly political parties will survive but they are here to play a role, a role which says that in the event of a hung Assembly, they may have the last say. Tough to say how the polls will proceed, but it is more than clear that the BJP and the Congress are taking the election seriously and this can be gauged from the manner in which they have been going hammer and tongs against each other.
Source: The Sangai Express