Eleven non-Congress parties have formed a coalition in Manipur in an effort at forming a government after the Assembly election results are declared on Tuesday.
After several rounds of talks, the People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) was formed on Saturday night.
PDA spokesperson and State CPI secretary Moirangthem Nara was confident that these parties would form the next Ministry, guided by a common minimum programme to be chalked out by a nine-member core committee.
On December 3 last year, five parties formed the People's Democratic Front.
But Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Gaikhangam said it was wishful thinking of these parties to form a government, since his party, having contested all 60 seats, would come to power for the third consecutive term. He pointed out that all parties of the PDA had pledged to protect Manipur's territorial integrity, but now they joined hands with the Naga People's Front (NPF), a Nagaland-based party, which wants to merge the “Naga areas” in Manipur with Nagaland.
However, PDA leaders snap back that there is nothing wrong in their joining hands with the NPF, arguing that the allies will not allow the NPF to go ahead with this agenda. They counter that it was the Congress that signed the merger agreement with the United Naga Integration Council on August 4, 1972.
Some PDA leaders admit in private that there will be problems in the sharing of the Cabinet slots. However, they are confident of overcoming them.
It is also possible that some allies will join hands with the Congress in the event of its emerging as the single largest party.
Nationalist Congress Party president Radhabinod Koijam, one of the architects of the PDA, says his party could readily back the Congress or the NPF for forming a stable government.
Meanwhile, the number of bomb attacks on the Congress candidates has increased, though they have been given protection by India Reserve Battalion guards.
On Saturday midnight, a bomb exploded at the well-guarded house of R.K. Anand, Congress candidate from Naoriya Pakhanglakpa. On Friday, the house of Elangbam Chand, candidate for Yaiskul, came under attack.
Police fear more such attacks. The extremists, targeting the Congress members say no party should form a post-poll alliance with the Congress.