Manipuri Holi grips BJP week ahead of schedule

JD(U) jubilant with unprecedented result, while Congress camp wears desolate look

March 10, 2022 08:29 pm | Updated 08:29 pm IST - IMPHAL

Women performing Thabal Chongba at CM Biren Singh’s residence after the results of the Manipur Assembly elections, on March 10, 2022.

Women performing Thabal Chongba at CM Biren Singh’s residence after the results of the Manipur Assembly elections, on March 10, 2022. | Photo Credit: Rahul Karmakar

Thursday morning started more or less on the same note for the political parties that contested Manipur’s mandate 2022.

A fleet of vehicles began arriving at party headquarters here soon after counting of votes began at 8 a.m. Leaders, alighting with the ‘V’ sign, opted to huddle indoors. Animated workers began darting here and there to be in the view of their leaders.

But the scenario began changing as the trends started coming in. The activities at the BJP headquarters in the Keishampat locality increased, with party workers arranging trays full of flower petals and garlands in no time.

Yaoshang, the Manipuri version of the north Indian Holi, arrived a week ahead of schedule at the BJP office. The environment was more boisterous at Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh’s private residence, about 9 km away on the road to Nagaland capital Kohima.

More than the spraying of colours, Thabal Chongba – dancing by moonlight associated with Yaoshang – ruled the rejoicing at every spot that wore flags bearing the party’s Lotus symbol.

“The people’s support for the BJP is reflected in our happiness, more so because we are in a position to form a government on our own,” State BJP president A. Sharda Devi told The Hindu.

JD(U) happy

The scene was similar at the Janata Dal (United) office in the Keishamthong locality, not far from the BJP office. “Our unprecedented performance shows the acceptance of our party,” State JD(U) president Hangkhanpao stated.

The JD(U) last won an Assembly seat in Manipur 22 years ago.

The Congress’s headquarters on B.T. Road, opposite the landmark Kangla Fort, wore a desolate look. There was hardly any soul around by afternoon.

The National People’s Party, a minor ally of the BJP in the Biren Singh government, celebrated its “best performance”. But party workers were a tad disappointed as two of their heavyweights – ex-DGP and Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar and Health Minister Langpoklakpam Jayantakumar – had to bite the dust.

The party that celebrated the most was the newly-floated Kuki People’s Alliance, which won both the seats (Saikul and Singhat) it contested. “Our mission of protecting our land and culture has just begun,” its vice-president Chingkholal Thangsing said.

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