The Manipur Home Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei has made it clear that when the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi comes to Imphal on February 8 he will be provided fool-proof security during his halt in this insurgency afflicted state.
Talking to reporters on Sunday, he also said that Mr. Modi's visit to Manipur shall not pose any threat to the ruling Congress which is hoping to win both the Lok Sabha seats.
On the other hand, the state functionaries of the BJP say that at least 1,00,000 persons will assemble at the playground where Mr. Modi will address the people. By Manipur's standard this is a massive number. Two Muslim organisations had already announced that the Muslims in Manipur shall boycott the visit of Mr. Modi for his alleged role in the communal flare up in Gujarat. However some other Muslim organisations have come out with a statement saying that they will welcome Mr. Modi since the Muslims in Manipur should not emulate their counterparts elsewhere.
To test the water, some second rank BJP national leaders have been coming to Manipur. All the political parties in the state were rather taken aback by the large number of persons who had assembled in the public meetings addressed by these leaders. However, for the time being the national leaders are not thinking in terms of bringing Hindi film actors including Hema Malini. Long time back one insurgent group had banned Hindi films and songs in the State to settle scores with the security personnel who had allegedly bludgeoned to death one ranking insurgent leader after being overpowered in Imphal.
In other words, these Hindi film actors are strangers to the young and the old in Manipur and it was seen the hard way on the eve of the last Assembly elections that the much publicised visit of Hema Malini in Manipur did not create ripples.
Chaoba Thounaojam, the state unit BJP president said that his party shall win both the Lok Sabha seats. However it may be an over ambitious calculation considering the fact that the party has not been securing a single seat in the 60 member House Assembly for two consecutive terms. It is also a big question mark whether it could win at least one Lok Sabha seat. The reserved seat is dominated by the tribal who avoid this party.
The political parties have decided to field Nara Moirangthem of the CPI as the common candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. However some national and local parties are distancing themselves from the common platform.