The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which swept to power in Manipur for the first time in 2017 in alliance with two political parties and the support of independent legislators, may fight alone this time. Such indications have been given by party leaders. Union minister Pratima Bhowmik and Assam minister Ashok Singhal are the BJP in-charge for Manipur elections and have given slightly different pointers. It was said that the saffron party is keen to contest the elections on its own this time. However, both Bhowmik and Singhal have not completely ruled out pre-poll alliances with like-minded parties.
“We are in talks for a pre-poll alliance with like-minded parties and allies,” Singhal said in Guwahati without giving any details about the possible alliance.
However, both the ministers claimed that the BJP would get an absolute majority on its own. Speaking to the news agency, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Bhowmik said that this time BJP will get majority on its own on the basis of its good governance and best performance.
Tripura BJP leader Bhowmik said, “Our central leaders will soon announce the party’s candidates for Manipur elections. Party leaders and workers in Manipur are active in every way to ensure BJP’s victory in the upcoming elections.
Let us tell you that after 15 years, in the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP-led coalition did not allow the Congress to hold on to power and form its own government even after winning 28 seats. Congress had emerged as the single largest party during this period. The saffron party, which secured 21 seats, formed a coalition government with the support of four legislators from the National People’s Party (NPP), four members of the Naga People’s Front (NPF), a lone Trinamool Congress legislator and an independent.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. The Sangma-led NPP, however, has already announced that it will contest on its own this time and will field candidates in at least 40 seats. The NPP, a national political party with political influence in various northeastern states, contested nine seats in 2017 and won four.
Another ally of the BJP-led government, the Naga People’s Front (NPF), is yet to comment on the pre-poll alliance in Manipur. Let us inform that voting for the 60-member Manipur Assembly will be held in two phases on February 27 and March 3. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
first published:Jan. 17, 2022, 5:31 p.m.