BJP stakes claim to form govt in Manipur; meets Governor Najma Heptulla

In the end, it was not so neat.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav moved in quickly to seal alliances in Manipur, where the Congress was hoping for an invitation to form the government on being the single largest party in the state Assembly.

Mr. Maharaj, who won the Chaubattakhal seat, is, according to party sources, the foremost choice of the RSS and the central leadership.

Out of 70 assembly seats, 30 are in the Garhwal hills. Officials said vote count was on in 23 of the 40 constituencies.

BJP, however, got the support of the National Peoples' Party, which won four seats in the 2017 Assembly election. If they support the Congress, it will leave the two in a tie.

The Naga People's Front (NPF), the National People's Party (NPP) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) are constituents of the BJP-led alliance and are most likely to support the BJP in government formation.

The scale of the BJP's electoral gains can be gauged from the numbers.

"The decision on who will be the party's legislature party leader, and details of the swearing-in ceremony, will be taken on Monday", Manipur BJP president K Bhabananda told journalists. To boot, a few faithfuls decamped and joined BJP before the election. In 2012, it fielded candidates in 19 out of 60 seats and won none.

The latest developments coming in from Manipur is that the BJP has staked its claim to form the government with a new mathematical equation: BJP (21) + NPP (4) + NPF (4) + LJP (1) + 1 Congress MLA bringing the tally to 31, the required figure. The big setback to the BJP is the defeat of its incumbent CM Laxmikant Parsekar, who lost the Mandrem seat to Congress' Dayanand Sopte.

Robindro Singh was with the BJP team, which included the party's state incharge Prahlad Singh Patel, when it met the governor. For the elections, the party's campaign managers were flown in from Delhi. "They are giving convention the go-by", a senior Congress leader told DH.

It is hard to draw conclusions from the complex verdicts that Manipur yields.

Having won the support from Left and Aam Aadmi Party, Irom has contested opposite Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in Thoubal constituency has just won a measly 90 votes - which left her in shock and Sharmila immediately announced her exit from politics.

Uttarakhand has a strong anti-incumbency trend - no party has ever managed to retain power in the state's 16-year history. The usual electoral calculations are thrown into disarray by an intricate, intimate mesh of clan, tribe and community loyalties. It is to be seen whether NPP legislators will still shift to the Congress, if at all. Not too long ago, even BJP leaders referred to him as a "block" in their path to return to power in the state.

NPF is part the North-Eastern Democratic Front, formed by the BJP as a platform for non-Congress parties in the North East, in. If it hopes to remain a force to reckon with in Manipur in the long run, the Congress can not go back to politics as usual.

  • Zachary Reyes