Though the Congress party has emerged as a leading party, but it is still away from the majority mark. There are a total 60 assembly seats and a party which wants to form a government will have to win 31 seats. The BJP narrowly missed to unfurl its victory flag in Manipur. This could have second northeastern state after Assam where the saffron party would have formed a government. But then for the first time in 15 years, the state is witnessing a fractured verdict. Chief Minister Ibobi Singh would not have anticipated that he would not be a factor of stability in the state. However, he failed to see simmering discontent among the people against his government after it created seven districts by dividing nine existing ones in December. The bifurcation was done with an aim to reap electoral dividends. Meitei community which is the largest community of Manipur was also up in arms against the government’s decision to pass three bills in 2015: The Protection of Manipur People Bill, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill and the Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd Amendment) Bill. Protest against this move had led to the killing of several people in this northeastern state. Amid this, the government found itself in deep problem in the wake of rebellion by 25 Congress MLAs. All this helped in strengthening pro-change narrative in the state which is facing Naga-led economic blockade since November last year.
Fractured verdict means return of instability in this crucial northeastern state. This also means slowdown of economic activity. But more than this, verdict has sent a strong message to the Congress that it can’t take people for ride. The BJP has lost nothing much with its inability to reach a majority mark, still the verdict shows that the saffron party will have to work hard to prove its mettle in the state. It should be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed rally in the state and in his address he had promised to end economic blockade if the party came to power. The Prime Minister had also accused the Ibobi Singh government of being the most corrupt government. Despite this, the saffron party failed to pull a victory for itself. It means, people were not convinced enough to stand by the BJP’s promises.
Fractured verdict has hit Manipur at a time when it is facing insurgency, economic blockade, unemployment and social strife between Meities and Nagas, Kukis and Nagas. It in this situation, last resort to rescue the state from any untoward incident lies in the hands of the Centre. But till pictures are clear, wait and watch would be preferable option for many poll watchers.