The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win only about 10 seats in the ensuing 12th Manipur State Assembly Election, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president N Loken said as three more candidates, including a sitting MLA, a former minister of the BJP and a retired managing director of MANIDCO and MANITRON joined the Congress on Monday.
Following the announcement of the names of BJP candidates on Sunday, many aspiring candidates, whose names did not feature in the first and final list, have begun to join other political parties. Among them, sitting MLA of 27-Moirang Assembly Constituency, Pukhrem Saratchandra Singh, who had won on BJP ticket in the past election, joined the Congress party on Monday.
Besides Pukhrem Saratchandra, two others joined the Congress party; they are former minister from 16-Sekmai Assembly Constituency. Ningthoujam Biren Singh and Ningthoujam Joykumar Singh, Rtd MD of MANIDCO and MANITRON from 26-Bishnupur Assembly Constituency, both aspiring BJP candidates.
They were officially felicitated by leaders of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee at Congress Bhawan, BT Road, Imphal on Monday.
Reliable sources said, Wangkhei MLA Y Erabot and MLA M Rameshwar of Kakching are in touch with the NPP and likely to jump ship in a couple of days.
Addressing the function, CLP leader Okram Ibobi Singh said that the three experienced and learned persons joining the Congress is a great privilege for the party. "They are like assets for the Congress party which will help in getting a thumping majority in the upcoming election and bring a new government led by Congress party," Ibobi asserted.
With the BJP government in the state, there were great expectations of development in the state as BJP was also ruling in the Centre. On the contrary, not a single new project was taken up but the BJP inaugurated only those works already completed by the previous Congress government, Ibobi said.
The pathetic performance of the outgoing state government shows that there is no guarantee of bringing development even after having the same party in the Centre, the former CM said, adding that as such people of the state should change from such mindset. He also appealed to the people of the state to exercise their mandate cautiously so that another five years is not wasted like the present situation.
He also predicted that the BJP party will not get a good number of seats in the other poll-bound four states viz. Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, some change will take place even in the Centre, Ibobi exclaimed.
He recalled that though the Congress party was the single largest party in the 2017 state assembly election by winning 28 seats, it could not, unfortunately, form the government. However, this time the party will surely get an absolute majority and form a new government which will further open a new chapter in the state. For this, support and cooperation from people of the state is much needed, Ibobi said.
MPCC president N Loken also said that though the BJP claimed that it would win over 40 seats in upcoming election, even the Congress thought BJP might get at least 15 to 20 seats. However, seeing the BJP candidate list, the Congress can proudly say that BJP won't get more than 10 seats. In the valley, they will hardly get seven seats, Loken said.
Analysing and observing the present scenario, BJP will never come back to power in the state while the Congress party will surely come back, Loken affirmed.
The new Congress members also expressed their gratitude for felicitating them with open arms.
Sharatchandra Singh said that only human beings have the ability to make their future by knowing their past and present. With this view, everyone should extend their best level effort for the betterment of future generations, he added.
He further stated that even if he did not get a BJP ticket, he will fight in the election with an aspiration to serve the people.
The programme was attended by other senior Congress leaders, including former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, AICC leader Bhakta Charan Das and others.