It is getting interesting. Shortly after the Congress Government here announced the creation of seven new districts, the BJP led Government at the Centre announced a Rs 22,000 crore road package for the State, besides laying the foundation stones of Makru and Barak bridge on the Imphal Jiribam highway to better road connectivity. Granted the Rs 22,000 crore may have been worked out some time back, but the timing of the announcement, coming so close behind the creation of the seven new districts, is just too significant to be dismissed as a co-incidence. And surely the districts creation and the Rs 24,000 crore road package will be used to the hilt by the two political parties ahead of the coming Assembly election. More than obvious that the BJP is looking to seal another State in the North East, after Assam, through the EVM, or via the Assembly election. The case of Arunachal Pradesh, where the Government has aligned itself with a party close to the BJP, is different. So if Chief Minister O Ibobi may be said to have delivered a master political stroke just ahead of the Assembly election, the BJP too has not lagged behind, coming out with a promise which the people have been eager to hear for decades. Apart from the Rs 22,000 crore road package, the BJP Government has gone one step ahead and announced that the task of looking after the Imphal-Jiribam highway will be handed over to the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL), which is fully owned by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
The new move of the Centre to remove the Border Roads Organisation from looking after the Imphal-Jiribam stretch of the National Highway may be seen as an initiative taken by the BJP, but remember Chief Minister O Ibobi has also been for long crying out against what he has termed the ‘inefficiency’ of the BRO officials in maintaining the highway. In such a condition, it becomes difficult to say where the credit should go for deciding to replace the BRO. Whatever the case, it would do good for all to raise the question of how far a free hand was given to the BRO to maintain and execute development works along the Imphal-Jiribam Highway. Were there any interferences from any quarters, especially from any powerful organisations which are deemed to be close to the Central Government ? A significant question which cannot be easily swept under the carpet. So it is that the two major political parties will go to the people trumpeting the two new developments. No doubt the Congress must be on a high for the feel good factor it has managed to inject among the people of Kangpokpi district, which incidentally has three Assembly segments, but remember the BJP too has managed to win the approving nod of quite a large number of people for giving yet another opportunity to the State to not rely on only one roadway. Interesting developments and how well these new developments are sold to the people will go a long way in impacting the voting pattern of the people when D day comes.
Source: The Sangai Express