The BJP, which is contesting all 60 constituencies, has never fought Manipur so seriously. It is fighting the election, scheduled for March 4, without an alliance with the regional parties, who are its allies outside Manipur. Former Congress minister N Biren, who recently joined the BJP, said the party will sweep the polls.
"We are not having any pre-poll alliance. That can be considered post-poll. If they want to join, they are most welcome," said Mr Biren.
But both sides, BJP and Congress, have a common worry: narrow wins or even a hung assembly and that has, suddenly, put the phrase, 'The Arunachal Model', on everyone's lips.
Last year, Arunachal Pradesh saw at least three different chief ministers, many more ministers and legislators change party colours at the speed of light. The BJP, now, runs the state.
"No place for the push and pull of the Arunachal model. We will have a single majority," Mr Biren said.
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said the BJP does not have a chance and there is no question of replicating the Arunachal Pradesh model in Manipur.
Manipuris, trying to do the math, see uncertain times ahead.
"It will be a hung Assembly and then, the party in power at the Centre will have an influence here," said Pradip Phanjoubam, editor of the Imphal Free Press.
"Defections and difficulties of rounding up MLAs from smaller parties could make things difficult for Congress," he added.
The Congress lost Assam to BJP after a 15-year stint. In Manipur, however, it may be a tougher nut to crack. But that, itself, may push the state into Arunachal Pradesh's footstep.
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