Intending candidates galore
IFP Editorial: It is the lure of BJP being in power at the Centre and here to stay for some time, which draws many wannabes to the bandwagon.
Updated on 5 Dec 2021, 7:41 pm
In Manipur’s political journey, never had we seen such a proliferation of wannabe politicians or players in the field as state assembly elections draw near. Elections in the past had seen its share of non-serious candidates who file nominations just to annoy the heavyweights or to bargain for a price or just for the sake of it. Many of them manage to lose their deposits. People say, election is like a narcotic substance and once a person enters the field of politics the urge during elections cannot be satiated. Well, a new breed of politicians had entered the scene after 1972 when Manipur attained statehood. Manipur had a thriving political culture before independence and ultimate merger with the Dominion of India as could be seen from the political movements then and elections based on adult suffrage besides the framing of Manipur State Constitution. However, that kind of political consciousness was diminished after Manipur’s merger and the abject humiliation of being converted into a Part C state and later on a Union Territory of a proud nation which once held sway as a minor regional power at the crossroads of South Asia and South East Asia. Yet, the leaders who manned the political landscape of the state in those days were politicians with conviction and they were committed to the cause of the society and the state as well. Tragedy is, after more than 20 years of political oblivion a culture based on patron-client relationship with the Centre had developed in the state and the end result after statehood was the birth of a politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus controlling state politics.
What we want to talk today about is the new class of political wannabes who have entered the political landscape donning the garb of ‘social worker’ to hoodwink the general public. These groups come from different backgrounds. But, a common denominator would be profiteering and questionable sources of income. Their backgrounds would vary from retired bureaucrats to contractors of all hues and businessmen with dubious interests, and of course criminals. The thirst for grabbing real power emanated from what they had seen in their pursuit of profit of what really the power wielders can do. So, their only aim and objective is to further their business interests with power in their hands, which ultimately requires them to take the role of a social worker. They are indeed wolves in sheep’s clothing and not to be trusted at all. A first generation of these profiteers are already here in our midst and they are encouraging new wannabes to join the bandwagon of self-serving politicians. In recent times, the nomenclature of these political wannabes have changed as well the public perception. During the heydays of the Congress also, there were ticket-seekers who usually emerged just before the elections and the Congress ticket was the most sought after. But, it was never this frenzy. Today, the ruling party both at Centre and state BJP seems positioned at the helm of affairs and in no mood to fade away any time soon simply because of the absence of a viable opposition.
So naturally, BJP as the party in power is the most desirable party. Whether BJP has given any special sops for the state besides the all-India welfare and benefit schemes or infrastructure projects is not a question asked by many. It is the lure of BJP being in power at the Centre and here to stay for some time, which draws many wannabes to the bandwagon. With a number of intending candidates in every constituency, BJP had been flexing its muscles of a successful party with widespread support as state elections draw near. Howsoever be the claims, the number of intending candidates cannot be interpreted as widespread support for the party which the party leaders chose to do so. Of the four/five intending candidates, only one is going to get the BJP ticket and what comes afterwards is a guesswork. While a few might choose to support the candidate with the ticket, others might go to other parties for the ticket or jeopardise the prospects of the chosen one. It happens in every election and nobody is the wiser.