Troubled times for the State Congress Boycotted and shunned in hill dists

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The State unit of the Congress is in deep trouble. No two ways about it. Take a look at the reality. It stands boycotted in all the hill districts and with some MLAs resigning from the Assembly and switching sides to the BJP, the position of the State Congress can be anything but comfortable. Just how serious is the boycott can be easily gauged from the hostile reception that the Chief Minister received at Ukhrul on October 24 when he and some of his Ministers had gone there to inaugurate a series of development projects. Thanks to the three Bills that the Assembly passed on August 31 last year, it has been boycotted in Churachandpur district with the bodies of the nine killed in the protest against the three Bills still in state. At Sadar Hills too, it has been boycotted and the three Congress MLAs have been told in no uncertain terms to either resign from the Congress or face the wrath of the people when election time comes. It is the same in the other hill districts and surely Chief Minister O. Ibobi and his men must be worried. Top this off with the BJP seemingly going from strength to strength and surely this must be uneasy days for the Chief Minister and the Congress leaders. Even as the anti-Bills voice is still going strong, the student wing of the JCILPS has gone on record and announced that they will be launching yet another round of movement to pressurise the Government to pass another Bill to check the inflow of non-local people into the State.

All these cases will surely have an impact on the coming Assembly election and the Congress is in the middle of it all. The Sadar Hills issue is a no win situation for the State Government, read the Congress. Even as the people of Sadar Hills want it upgraded to the status of a district, there are others led by the United Naga Council which have said a big no to this. Caught in the middle is the Congress. So while a blockade is on, there is no guarantee that the proponents of Sadar Hills will not impose another similar agitation in the coming days. Not that other political parties will have any answer to this issue, but being in power for the last three terms, all fingers will surely be pointed at the Congress. Taking all these things into consideration, it may not be wrong to say that the Congress should not and cannot afford to see a repeat of the 2012 Assembly election. Its safest bet seems to be the valley area, but here again Chief Minister O Ibobi has to walk the extra mile to convince the people that he is the Chief Minister of Manipur not obsessed with only his home Constituency Thoubal. There are reasons why many see him as the Chief Minister of Thoubal and there may be reasons for this. It is this which he should try to neutralise. Either way the Congress is certainly not in a comfortable position and this is unfortunate.

Source: The Sangai Express

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