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Challengers as Ministers

IFP EDITORIAL: Inspite of the comfortable majority and support from other parties, it took 10 days for the BJP to pin down the next leader. Why was it so?

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 24 Mar 2022, 2:53 am

(PHOTO: Lelen Veiphei_IFP)
(PHOTO: Lelen Veiphei_IFP)

This Yaoshang, teenage boys and girls had a field day with the slowing down of the pandemic combined with victory celebrations of elected candidates of the just concluded assembly elections 2022. Even the young housewives were elated and joined Thabal Chongba. Victory celebrations in elections were marked by Thabal Chongba in the valley constituencies, including at BJP headquarters ‘Thambal Shanglen’ where the Thabal was led by state BJP president A Sharda Devi and acting Chief Minister N Biren Singh on March 10. That day, N Biren Singh announced that there will not be restrictions this time for Thabal Chongba as the pandemic has receded. The announcement was hailed by the youth who had been deprived of the annual event for two years due to Covid 19 restrictions.Yes, we understand the dangers of Covid 19 are still omnipresent. But, one cannot adjust the yearly alignment of stars and its effects on the human urges.  Perhaps, it is because of the stars, adolescent urges to understand members of the other sex begin to develop in the Meitei lunar month of Lamta as a prelude to the onset of the creation festivities like Lai Haraoba season in the month of Kalen. Every young person has gone through this phase and no one had bypass it.

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Thabal Chongba is one such occasion where the adolescent urges or itch is channelized ritually through a merry dance.This year, it was not only Thabal Chongba festivities. In several places, musical nites and Shumang Leela shows mostly sponsored by winning candidates were held and it is still continuing. On the other hand, it took 10 days for the BJP to decide the name of the next Chief Minister even as it got absolute majority with 32 seats in the 60 member Manipur legislative assembly. The once powerful Congress party was reduced to a single digit figure of five while the BJP ally in the preceding government NPP emerging as the second largest party with seven seats even though its leader Yumnam Joykumar lost his seat. BJP’s other ally NPF got five seats increasing its tally by one from last assembly elections while JDU and Kuki Peoples Alliance (KPA) got six and two respectively besides three independents. Meanwhile NPF has once again become a partner in government formation, JDU and KPA besides two independents have pledged their support to the BJP government.

Inspite of the comfortable majority and support from other parties, it took 10 days for the BJP to pin down the next leader. Why was it so? Was it because of other contenders besides acting CM N Biren Singh? It was not exactly a cakewalk for N Biren Singh in retaining the CM post once again and he had to visit New Delhi twice after the election results. There were even speculations of applying the Assam model, where Himanta Biswa Sarma was made the CM and Sonowal shifted to Centre, in Manipur also. Senior Minister Th Bishwajit lost out to N Biren Singh in the leadership race in 2017 and he feels it is his turn this time. Previous Speaker Yumnam Khemchand was in the race also then. This time, another CM candidate was hoisted by local RSS in the person of Govindas Konthoujam who left the post of state Congress president to join the BJP.

Aspirations apart, one has to take into consideration as to which state leader contributed most in breaking the 30 plus barrier for the party. Everyone who followed the campaign closely know that N Biren Singh has been criss-crossing the state everyday without rest and even attending camera meetings. In short, he was seen putting maximum effort and all his resources to bring majority to his party. His work in the last five years also paid off. The day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted him audience in Parliament amidst the intense jostle for leadership many were certain that N Biren is coming back again with Modi’s blessings. However, it did not deter the contenders and then Union Home Minister Amit Shah had to put all speculations at rest. The three contenders Bishwajit, Khemchand and Govindas were also sworn in as ministers alongwith Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Now, the game will begin once again and one has to wait and see how N Biren Singh handles or manages these three challengers in the days to come.

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--Editorial

 

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Tags:

biren singhmanipur governmentBJP governmentchief minister

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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