Assembly elections of 2017 : an overview

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By Thoudam Imomacha Singh

As the Election Commission of India (ECI) has proclaimed the commencement of Assembly Elections in Manipur and other four State of Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, the stage is set for electioneering in these parts of the country.  Particularly for the state of Manipur, the March Assembly elections would be a crucial one, in view of the unconstitutional and unlawful ploy of UNC’s inconclusive “Economic Blockade”.  At the same time very amazingly, the Congress Party which has been at the helm of affairs in the governance of the State for almost one and half decades failed to have done anything durable pertaining to the livelihood of the state citizenry.  Every minister or all the incumbent law-makers of the Congress dispensation are very proud owing to the absence of a viable opposition in the Legislature, who could initiate a brainstorming debate on issues of public interest like rampant corruption in the state.  The Congress remains safe as it commands a massive majority in the “House”.  This frame of mind of the Congress Party amounts to “murder of democracy”.

If we look at the fallout of the inconclusive “Economic Blockade” the price of essential commodities comprising foodstuff, fuel, medicine and other various raw materials has gone sky-high.  Nevertheless, the state authority remains a dolt, whereas the plight of the common man is up against the wall.  At this high and dry moment, the so called politicians and high-ups have gone into hibernation.  The leaders of public opinion and the intelligentsia in the state are now astounded due to the invisibility of governance.

Let us, now, recollect a little of the political genealogy of the state since the time Manipur became a full fledged state of the Union of India in the year 1972.  A minority political veteran of mass popularity and pragmatism Mohammad Alimuddin was destined to lead the Manipur Peoples Party (MPP) Government, the first of its kind after Manipur’s attainment of statehood.  At that time the M.P.P. was a political clique of unquestioned credibility.  Some of the well-known political names of Manipur were hobnobbing with the said local political party.  They resorted to the MPP as their springboard for political propelling and also earn mass popularity.  At the end, most of them discarded the party that was their political mentor.  To day the MPP remains a “House of Cards”.  The current situation of turmoil in Manipur reminds the state citizenry to resurrect and rejuvenate a political party like the MPP.  The paradigm of “sons of the soil” may not be irrelevant to the context of the current political development in Manipur.

In a southern state like Tamilnadu most of the Political stalwarts now belong to Dravidian political parties like the DMK or the AIADMK.  The late J. Jayalalitha was a charismatic political personage who ruled the state off and on.  Her political contender was the grand old man of DMK K. Karunanidhi.  He is in frail health on account of his ripe age.  Still then he remains the political boss of the DMK.  These political leaders dare to tell the rulers at the centre that they cannot middle with Tamilnadu affairs. Politicians in Manipur need to imbibe there political lifestyle.  Every time, the political masters in Delhi seldom find the Manipur politicians honourable.  This is the crux of the matter of Manipur politics and politicians.

Now, talking about the BJP led NDA Government at the centre, the Manipur Electorate need to do a political retrospection.  During the earlier BJP led NDA Government in Delhi 18 Manipuris were martyred on 18, June, 2001, at the prime of their life on the issue of extension of cease-fire existing in between the centre and the NSCN (IM).  At that time also there was Congress rule in Manipur as it is today.  The BJP or the BJP led NDA Government at the Centre still owes a formal and unqualified apology in the Parliament.  Because, the program was perpetrated on the Manipuris as a result the half-hearted conduct of the then Central Government.  A number of turn-coat politicians have recently joined the state BJP bandwagon.  There is nothing much to say about their conduct but it is a vivid example of their self-seeking frame of mind.  Referring to the prevalent inconclusive “Economic Blockade”, the BJP as well as their Government at the Centre conveniently chooses to play the politics of mud-slinging at the cost of untold suffering borne by the common man.

The prolonged Naga Talks between the Centre and the NSCN (IM) still remains inconclusive.  However, the Modi Government has taken the initiative to construct the so called “Framework Agreement”, which is very much kept clandestine and yet to see the light of the day.  The centre now seems to be a champion of the Naga cause.  Then what about other Northeasterners in the region?  Let the outcome of the Assembly Elections of March 2017 in Manipur become the harbinger of the amalgamation of the region for a political tranquility.

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Source: Imphal Free Press

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