Viewing blockade through the lens of EVMs Not the time for one upmanship

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Assembly election will be held only in 2017. But it is more than clear that the term ‘election year’ has now come to fit the fag end of 2016 to the T. Nothing wrong with this for it is the run up to the election that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the voting behaviour of the people. However when issues which directly concerns the daily existence of the people come to be interpreted through the prism of the ballot box or the EVM, then it is time for a rethink. The ongoing economic blockade is a case in point and all political parties should be extra cautious to ensure that this is not politically exploited to have an impact on the upcoming Assembly election. The State unit of the BJP will certainly have the best intention in mind for the people and the recent meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh may be seen along this line. It was also fitting that the BJP team from Manipur took pains to highlight the woes of the people in the face of the economic blockade to the Union Home Minister. Something which no other political party in Manipur will be in a position to be able to do, that is apart from the Congress which is heading the Government here. True, it will be difficult not to try and take political mileage out of the meeting with the Union Home Minister especially ahead of the Assembly election, but greater sense is what is expected from the party which is set to pose the biggest and toughest challenge to the Congress since 2002. That the scheduled Assembly election seems to have clouded the better judgement of the BJP may be seen from the manner in which it highlighted its meeting with the Union Home Minister.

According to the statement issued by the media-in-charge of the State BJP, Chief Minister O Ibobi made no concrete proposal to the Union Home Minister during the recent meeting on the ongoing economic blockade imposed by the UNC. If only the Chief Minister had put forth a concrete proposal, the Centre could have provided all the necessary assistance, is reportedly what the Union Home Minister conveyed to the State BJP team. Technically the economic blockade is a State subject and hence the Centre cannot intervene without a formal approach from the State Government, is the underlying point that was highlighted by the State BJP after meeting the Union Home Minister. No one will argue with this point, and yes Chief Minister O Ibobi should have laid down things in black and white and not just talk about the economic blockade. On the other hand, it is also a well known fact that the National Highways connecting Manipur to the rest of the country have been used at the fancy and whims of numerous hill based organisations to bring the State Government to its knees. If this was not to the knowledge of the Union Home Minister, then perhaps the people of Manipur may need to register their woes and sufferings a notch or two higher. The question is why wait for a formal complaint from the State Government when people have to buy petrol at over Rs 200 per litre from the black market. Or when people have to shell out over Rs 40 for a kilogramme of potatoes ? Human sufferings should not be overlooked to score a point or two at the hustings.

Source: Sangai Express

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