No alternative to BJP in Manipur: Bhupender Yadav
Union minister Bhupender Yadav has said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win the 2022 Manipur assembly election with over two-thirds majority. He added the people of the state have seen the party deliver on its promises and for “consistency and continuity”, they will vote for the BJP.
Yadav is in charge of the Manipur election and was in the state last week for a preparatory meeting ahead of the polls. He said the state has come a long way since the time it was used to facing blockages and bandhs. “In the last five years, there have been no blockages like the economic blockage that went on for four months (November 2016 to March 2017)…. People feel relaxed,” he said.
The BJP won 21 of the 60 seats in the state in 2017 and formed the government there with support from parties such as the Naga People’s Front and the National People’s Party (NPP). The ties between the BJP and the NPP remained testy, with differences frequently coming to the fore. On more than one occasion, chief minister Biren Singh had to rely on the central leadership’s intervention to iron out differences. In 2020, the government was on the verge of collapse when four of the NPP legislators withdrew support but came around after negotiations were held in Delhi.
NPP chief Conrad Sangma has said there will be no pre-poll alliance between the two parties. On whether Sangma’s statement is a precursor to the alliance being called off, Yadav said, a decision on it will be taken based on the post-poll situation. “… What anyone says now is not important. We have been working on the ground and have run a strong alliance government... the major player in Manipur is the BJP and as of date, there is no alternative of the party in Manipur.”
He said Congress has “shrunk” and added many from the party leaders have shown the inclination to join the BJP. He added in the run-up to the polls, the trend of Congress leaders joining the BJP will continue. On what would be the BJP’s poll planks in Manipur, he said, “We are committed to ensuring an atmosphere of peace. Manipur has made a significant contribution in the sectors of art, sports, and culture and the Prime Minister wants equal development for the state. We will work on the concept of national ambition and regional aspiration.”
Yadav said the BJP has a “long list of accomplishments” which includes providing Ayushman health cards to over 400000 beneficiaries, electricity and roads in villages, and encouraging organic farming. On whether Biren Singh would be the face of the election, he said, “We have provided a stable and strong government. He has been the chief minister rest of the decisions will be taken by the parliamentary board (the highest decision-making body) of the party.”