A large number of supporters of Ms Indira Oinam, a senior member of the Manipur unit of the BJP, stormed the party office in Imphal on Wednesday protesting against non-inclusion of her name in the list for giving party ticket for the Inner Manipur Lok sabha seat. It transpires that she was not one of the four politicians whose names had been sent to the BJP executive committee for alloting the party ticket.
As regards the reserved Outer Manipur constituency, former Minister and academic Gangumei Kamei is likely to get the BJP ticket.
Accompanised by her supporters Ms Oinam came to the party office. They shouted slogans demanding resignation of the state unit president Chaoba Thounaojam for his alleged partiality. They said that an "illiterate person" should not be the leader of the political party here. In order to save the party in Manipur, there should be a change of guard.
Ms Oinam told The Hindu that her association with and contribution to the BJP are well known. She said that on the occasion of the visit of Narendra Modi to Imphal, she had mobilised a large number of persons in general and women in particular. It transpires that the central leaders had been misled about her service during Modi's visit.
Some supporters of Ms Oinam said that if she is denied party ticket this time despite the BJP policy to reserve for women, all the BJP members in Thoubal district (she is from this district) shall tender their resignation en masse. They said that in the last Assembly elections, Ms. Oinam who was the BJP candidate, was a rival to the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and she was defeated by a very narrow margin.
There was no law and order problem during the protest inside the BJP office on Wednesday.
Talking to The Hindu, Thounaojam said that the names of the aspirants for the BJP ticket were finalised by the core committee. Besides the lucky ones will be selected by the national leaders and not by him. He grudgingly admitted that he had not recommended the name of Ms. Oimam.
Indications are that the BJP ticket for the Inner Manipur constituency may go to Ranjan R.K. a former Manipur university academic.