[ Tongam Rina ]
These days almost every conversation centres on the impending state elections. The elections are scheduled to be held in May 2019, but as the time is nearing everybody seems to be curious about the exact date.
Going by the prevailing activities, it appears that the elections will be held on time and not before. Perhaps it will be held with the Lok Sabha polls.
The transfer and posting of Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service officers, who are a crucial component to the successful holding of elections in the state, have already been done as the election commission has strict instructions on posting of officials before and during conduct of elections.
On the other hand, the final publication of the e-roll is slated for January 2019, so it is safe to say that the elections will be after January 2019. So, until January, there is time for the sitting MLAS to make more and more vague promises, and for the intending ones to dish out more money during festivals and other events.
It also is time for confusion among all those wanting to be in the Club of 60. Now, most politicians in the state do not necessarily stick to a particular party or its ideologies; therefore nobody will be too sure about the party until the last moment. There are not many parties to choose from.
A confident BJP will give tickets to party loyalists with the maximum chances of winning. The BJP spillover will go to the NPP. That perhaps is the reason why the BJP will contest the elections on its own whereas the NPP is a coalition partner in Manipur and Meghalaya.
Much to the discomfort of many who believed in its regional ideologies, the PPA has reduced itself to a joke over the years, therefore it is unlikely there will be a large number of takers of the party. On the other hand, the Congress will still have the adequate number of ticket seekers. In all likelihood, the last resort of those who do not get tickets from the BJP or the NPP will be the Congress.
So far, none of the parties seems to be in the election mode, even though many intending candidates have started lobbying. Dirt will be dug and money will be exchanged. Organisations and some individuals will become pawns in the hands of the politicians in exchange of money. A win-win situation for all parties involved, but the sufferers will be the government employees, even the upright ones, who will be at the receiving end as politicians rarely leave a paper trail.
As the state waits, one may recall that former chief minister Nabam Tuki had dissolved the legislative assembly a few months before its schedule. The state was taken by surprise, and his colleagues in the legislative assembly had no clue what Tuki was upto till the dissolution was actually announced.
Reacting to the sudden announcement, the present Power Minister Tamiyo Taga, who was the then the leader of opposition (BJP) had said, “Last night I was an MLA, but when I woke up in the morning, I was no longer one.”