Will Congress move to hold the Left close force BJP in Manipur see red?

Congress looks to make a dent in Manipur BJP fortress, and has formed a pre-poll alliance with like-minded Left

The Congress in Manipur is faced with a peculiar situation. Once upon a time, the strongest political force in the north eastern state, the Congress has seen the ground underneath its feet being eroded in a fast manner. The advent of BJP as a formidable force had kept many in the Congress baffled.

The past five years have seen many a Congress leader shifting loyalties. Many including MLAs elected on Congress tickets switched over to the BJP. The scenario has gone from bad to worse for the grand old party and the only way to keep eyeballs on itself would be fight.

And so the party is cosying up to the Left parties in the state with the hope of finding lost ground. The Congress shift towards camaraderie with the Left may be seen as having the prime goal of decimating the BJP in Manipur. Besides the Left parties, the Congress party is also forming a pre-poll alliance with Janata Dal (Secular). Pulling down the BJP from the state’s higher pedestals and halting its growth come as the most significant priority.

BJP ouster, Congress goal

Throwing out the BJP from power might needs much more years of efforts and attempts from the Congress party. The BJP has a sizable fan base in Manipur, and this has grown manifold after the saffron party struck an alliance with the regional National People’s Party (NPP) and Naga People’s Front. The Congress will need to spruce up its game to even stand up to the BJP in Manipur, if they think of it in the near term.

But what might aid the Congress plans will be the internal squabbles the BJP is fighting. The party is battling the issue of distributing tickets and there are aspirants that outnumber the seats. So in case the infighting intensifies, the Congress might see many of them switching over.

Pre-poll alliance with Left, JD(S)

The pre-poll alliance with the Left could add to Congress’s strength. Like the Congress, the Left has as its sole aim the ouster of BJP from people’s minds. The seat sharing would be a major step in strengthening this alliance.  The Communist Party of India (CPI) has already announced the names of two candidates, while the Congress and ally NPP have announced 40 and 20 candidates respectively. In close consultations with the Left, the JD(S), and the other allies, the Congress is expected to soon arrive at a consensus on the remaining 18 seats.

The Left has a fairly good presence in close to 25 constituencies in the Imphal valley. Though they may not be enough for an outright win, a dent in the BJP fort could be possible. It is also believed that the JD(S) has the strength to influence 200-500 voters in some seats.

How the Congress – Left alliance will perform at the booths will decide on how BJP would fare in Manipur a few years from now.  Let’s wait to know.

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