Friday, 24 March 2017


Changing colours of Manipur

By Dennis Misao

On the occasion of Holi - the festival of colors, it is ironic that the present political scenario in Manipur is reminiscent of the good old days of horse trading and party hopping where people and parties changed colors at whim and at pleasure.

The INC did not have a plan B and had no pre-poll alliances. The BJP has fully capitalized on this lack of foresight. Heartbreaking as it is for the INC to fall just short of the winning post, they were always up against a more well organized, crafty and determined opponent. It was only a matter of time before the Modi wave finally hit Manipur. Historically, the state govt. has been a reflection of the govt. at the centre, as a matter of both necessity and choice.

Although the BJP has made an opportunistic first claim to the government, it faces a steep task ahead - The NPP and LJP have lent their support, but the BJP cannot complete the required numbers without the support of the NPF, and this will be its Achilles heel. The lone independent MLA from Jiribam also incidentally happens to be the only Bengali ever elected to the Manipur assembly - something that will not go down too well with the JCILPS.

The fact that there is no Chief Ministerial candidate, as well as the loss of some BJP heavyweights leaves room open for potential power struggles within the coalition. The unresolved economic blockade over the creation of the new districts, as well as many other unresolved issues like the ILP and the Indo-Naga framework agreement makes the task of governance even more difficult, when the coalition partners take on opposing views and stands.

Will the BJP agree to roll back the creation of the newly created districts as demanded by the UNC?

Will the JCILPS demand for a fresh legislation to regulate immigrants find the support of all MLAs in the coalition?

Will the distribution of cabinet portfolios be acceptable to all regions and ethnicities?

Will the CM candidate be able to hold this motley crue together in any future crisis?

We will know soon enough.

The general life span for coalition governments is short and bitter, and unless there are at least a dozen defections from the INC to the BJP in the immediate future, another election is in the offing

Unfortunately, voters and politicians of Manipur have not only ignored the lessons of history, they have repeated them hoping for a different result.

To steal a line from Joseph de Maistre, “every nation gets the government it deserves”.

Manipur has always got the government it deserves.

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