Migration season for politicians has arrived

Monday Musing

[ Bengia Ajum ]

As the election season nears, the migration of leaders from one political party to another is starting in the state. In recent days, the big guns of state politics, such as Ninong Ering, Wanglin Lowangdong, Lombo Tayeng, Mutchu Mithi, etc, have all jumped from their old parties to the ruling BJP. Of all, the decision of three Congress MLAs to join the BJP was surprising for many.

In particular, Ninong Ering was a Congress stalwart and he enjoyed political benefits, including holding posts as a union minister and also as a minister in Arunachal. His father, the late Daying Ering, was also a popular Congress leader. Several other MLA aspirants have joined the BJP and are clamouring for BJP tickets. It is believed that, for the 60 assembly seats, more than 300 candidates are aspiring for BJP tickets to fight the assembly election. In some constituencies, there are more than five aspirants vying for one ticket. For example, in the Nyapin assembly constituency, sitting MLA Bamang Felix is from the BJP and his political opponents who are aspiring candidates, namely, Tai Nikio and Tadar Mangku, have also joined the BJP. Similarly, in Raga and Ziro-Hapoli assembly constituencies, around four candidates are seeking BJP tickets. The situation is the same in most of the constituencies across the state. It looks like everyone thinks that the ticket to success is the ruling party’s ticket in Arunachal. This is not a new phenomenon for Arunachal, but this time the situation is really interesting. During the Congress government’s time also, this craving for the ruling party’s tickets was there. But certain candidates always fought elections from the BJP purely on an ideological basis.

Every day social media is filled with videos and pictures of ‘mass joining’ in favour of this and that candidate. Sometimes even 10 people coming out in support of a candidate is also declared as ‘mass joining’. Recently, three BJP office bearers resigned in Keyi Panyor district and some channel-run reports with headlines of ‘mass resigning’ took place. In the coming days, we will have to get ourselves ready for more such ‘mass joining and resigning’ reports.

In the next few days, the BJP’s candidates’ list will be out, and then the real politics will start. Supporters who are raising the slogan of ‘BJP zindabad’ now will suddenly change their tone and start shouting ‘BJP murdabad’ if their candidates don’t get party tickets. Then parties like the NPP, the NCP (Ajit Pawar faction), and the JD (U) will enter the scene. These are all part of the NDA and the candidates will prefer them if they don’t get ruling party tickets. I genuinely think there will not be many takers for the Congress party ticket which is sad. The Congress and the BJP are ideologically poles apart.

This does not augur well for democracy. Today, the BJP is literally turning the entire country into a one-party rule state. For a healthy democracy, a vibrant opposition is significant. Ideology-based politics have to be sustained for democracy to survive. The MLAs, aspirant MLAs, and political workers who keep changing parties are not ideal role models for the young voters of the state. It is time for the voters to send out a message that this seasonal migration of leaders from one party to another cannot be accepted anymore as a usual thing. The political battle has to be fought based on certain principles and ideologies. It cannot be always fought using money, clan, religion, area, ruling party ticket, and so on as a tool.