Not that it ever went out of the consciousness of the public. But the manner in which the Framework Agreement signed between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India back on August 3, 2015, has suddenly come to the centre stage is too significant to miss. And in many ways this means that the election campaign of the Congress and the BJP is centred around the ongoing peace process between the Centre and the NSCN (IM). It is in line with this that Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju declared before the media at New Delhi that ‘Manipuris will be consulted before final Naga accord.’ It was probably a coincidence but on the day that Rijiju’s address to the media was carried as the lead news item in The Sangai Express the State Congress came out with a catchline, a skybus advertisement in the local newspapers, which read ‘How can we forget June 18 which claimed 18 precious lives ? Who is responsible for that ? Why should anybody vote for the BJP which is behind the plot.’ Interesting developments, interesting in the sense that the territorial integrity of the State has today become the centre of the election campaigning of the two principal political parties and it is this which the people should wake up to and question whether this is desirable or not. On the other hand, in an apparent bid to placate any suspicion or misgiving, Interlocutor to the peace talk, RN Ravi went on record and stated that the Framework Agreement is not the final pact. That this has come about when a movement has been launched demanding that the finer details of the agreement be spelt out is significant.
Also significant to note that just a few days back, during his one day visit to the State, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh more than stressed that the Framework Agreement will not at all affect Manipur. With the Framework Agreement and the ongoing dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India now occupying centre stage, it is more than likely that Prime Minister Narendra Modi too will touch on this point during the public meeting at Langjing Achouba scheduled for tomorrow (February 25). What the Prime Minister will have to say remains in the realm of speculations but more than likely that he will seek to dispel any doubts in the minds of the people. So as the war of words hots up between the Congress and the BJP, it is disheartening to see that the other political parties seem to have vanished from the consciousness of the public. This is most acute in the case of the MPP, which at one of time was the only party which could pose a challenge to the Congress. In the Naga dominated hill districts, there is the Naga People’s Front, no doubt, but its influence is limited to the Naga areas alone giving a new definition to the understanding of regional political parties. At the moment all eyes will be on Lanjing Achouba, Patsoi and the big question is how much will Modi’s visit impact on the election.
Source: The Sangai Express