Three points have emerged very clearly from the emergency presidential council meeting of the United Naga Council, held at Senapati on February 7. One and this is important, the tripartite talk held between the State Government, the Union Government and the UNC at New Delhi on February 3 was a flop. Two, to the UNC it does not matter if its president Gaidon Kamei and information secretary Stephen Shangkhel continue to languish in jail for the economic blockade was not imposed to get them freed. The opposition to the decision of the State Government to create seven new districts, particularly Kangpokpi and Jiribam districts, will continue and this means that election to the State Assembly will be held under the shadow of the blockade. The question here is, did the tripartite talk fail because the Government was not ready to meet the demands of the UNC ? Or did it fail because the UNC was too adamant and refused to negotiate ? What is the meaning of holding a talk or a dialogue if either side is not going budge or in other words if there is to be no degree of give and take ? An important question this is, for remember one is talking about a dialogue to resolve an issue and it is a given that in any dialogue there should be a degree of give and take. Unfortunate it is that this universally acknowledge point did not register in the minds of those who attended the tripartite talk.
So the blockade will continue. Queues in front of petrol pumps will continue and prices of all essential commodities will continue to remain high. People will go to polls under the shadow of the blockade. Maybe this will be the first time that the State will go to polls in the midst of an economic blockade and in as much as the UNC can be pilloried for taking such an obstinate stand, it also stands that the State Government miserably failed to put its point forward during the tripartite talk. A more than enough indication that to the UNC and many Naga people of Manipur, the argument of the State Government that the districts were carved out for administrative convenience ran off like water from the back of a duck. Questions may also be raised on what the stand of the Centre is. True the BJP led Government at Delhi has been maintaining that law and order is a State issue and the most they can do is send more troops to get the highways opened, but other than this, has it tried to use its office to influence the NSCN (IM) and the UNC ? Let it be very clear, to the people, it does not matter which party delivers a political point at this juncture. What matters to them is to see the blockade lifted.
Source: The Sangai Express