The war of words is hotting up. Not surprising for at stake here is the State of Manipur for at least the next five years. No stones left unturned as the two principal political parties, the BJP and the Congress, go hammer and tongs against each other, with the debate centred on the ongoing economic blockade. So while the two political parties slug it out over the economic blockade, each trying to pass the buck to the other, both have conveniently overlooked the key factor which led to the imposition of the blockade in the first place. Election compulsion it must have been, and this should more than indicate that the decision of the Congress Government to create the seven new districts must have been taken with an eye on the polls. On the other hand, the BJP is obviously not keen to get into a debate on the merits and demerits of the decision to create the seven new districts, particularly Kangpokpi (Sadar Hills) and Jiribam, and risk earning the displeasure of any group of people just before the election. So in a nutshell, it may be said that the people of Manipur are today being forced to pay the political price of election and this does not put the two principal political parties in any good light. So while debates are still raging on the economic blockade (read the deprivation of essential commodities caused by the blockade and not what created the blockade), the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) in 2015 and the territorial integrity of the State, not much have been said on the other issues which nonetheless have a direct impact on the day to day life of the common people.
No doubt these issues are important but why should all the attention be given to the issues which have just been mentioned ? Is it a case of Manipur not facing other issues which can be the centre stage of the coming Assembly election ? Extra-judicial killings, for which a case is going on at the Supreme Court, is an issue which is mentioned as a footnote to dig out the skeletons from the cupboard of the Congress Government. Or is it because the final say is yet to be delivered by the Supreme Court ? How about education ? Why hasn’t the Congress Government been able to make a difference in the field of education despite being in power for the last 15 years ? Why is it that thousands of students feel compelled to move outside the State to pursue their higher education once they finish school or Class XII here ? Why isn’t the BJP taking up this issue ? Or is it under the impression that education cannot get them votes ? One swallow does not make a summer, but what came like a breath of fresh air was the question put up by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar when he questioned the State Government why it has not been able to ensure potable water supply even after being in power for the last 15 years. True Chief Minister O Ibobi did promise potable water supply to all if the Congress is voted back to power but the important question is what has it been doing for the last 15 years ? It is such debates that the people would like to hear and help them make up their mind.
Source: The Sangai Express