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Battle for RS seat

It is again the Congress candidate T. Mangibabu and the BJP candidate Leishemba Sanajaoba that will be contesting for the lone Rajya Saba seat from Manipur, after NPF candidate Honreikhui Kashung had withdrew its candidature. When one looks back to the history of Rajya Sabha election of Manipur legislative Assembly, it was always the ruling party that won. This time too, the BJP is confident of win the seat, however, for reasons that have been happening in the political theater of Manipur the Congress party is hopeful of creating history by defeating the BJP candidate.
Congress arithmetic of wining the seat is completely based on the pending disqualification case of 7 MLAs who had defected and joined the ruling BJP. After MLA, Thoanaojam Shyamkumar who won from Andro Assembly Constituency in INC ticket but joined the BJP, had been disqualified, the Congress party is confident that the 7 defected MLAs who had joined the BJP will surely face the music or else may not be allowed to cast vote in the RS election as there was already a Supreme Court ruling similar to that in connection with a case for disqualification of MLA Th. Shyamkumar.
Now, if one analyzes the arithmetic of Congress – it can be easily found that the congress party will play cards with MLAs of the BJP ally political party and independent MLA. This is being presumed with the emerging souring relationship between the ruling BJP and its major coalition political parties. The Naga National Front (NPF) and the National Peoples’ Party (NPF) which has 4 MLAs each in the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly were the target of the Congress party. Relation between the BJP and both the parties was souring some months back however, the BJP manage to settle the matter with NPF after the party’s state president Awangbou Newmai has been inducted to the Ministry on March 28. The relation between NPP and the BJP cannot be speculated as all the MLAs are Ministers in the BJP government. The only problem is with the legislature wing leader of the NPP Yumnam Joykumar who is also the deputy Chief Minister in the N. Biren Singh government without any portfolio. Even as other Ministers from the NPP seem to support the BJP, people had seen the souring relationship between Yumnam Joykumar and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh many times. With the BJP MLAs demanding for major reshuffle and the possibility of at least 2 NPP MLAs dropping from the ministry spotted, it is likely that the NPP may play a game to take political advantage. So Congress party may be hoping the 4 MLAs plus the Independent MLA from Jiribam Assembly constituency. The number expected than stands at 25 assuming the 4 and another one adding to the congress party considering the 7 defected MLAs are not allowed to cast vote.       
The total member of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly now is 59. Leaving Speaker of the House , the number can be assumed as 58 . Of this original BJP MLAs is 21. Without the 7 defected Congress MLAs, the BJP still counts 31 MLAs. If suppose Congress arithmetic is right, the number with the BJP is still 31 minus 4 minus 1 , i.e 26 , leaving Speaker.
With the speculation, the BJP still have its number to get the Rajya Sabha seat. As for the Congress even if it lost the party will gain moral victory if their arithmetic is correct.  

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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