First phase poll over. Fate of candidates in 38 Assembly Constituencies sealed and now all eyes are on March 8, when 22 Assembly segments will go to polls. By March 11 the results of all Assembly Constituencies will be out, barring those which will go in for repoll. Now what were the issues under which the 38 Assembly Constituencies went to polls on March 4 ? And what will be issues under which the remaining 22 ACs will go to poll ? Not one single issue, for to be sure what works in the valley rea will not work in the hills and vice versa. This is the reality of Manipur and there is nothing to gloss over this. A stark reminder that the State is not united under any single issue, thereby highlighting the fact that while the territorial integrity of the State is a key issue in the valley area, the reverse is true in the hill ACs, particularly in the Naga dominated districts. And the election this time is a highly polarised one, thanks to the decision of the Congress Government to go ahead and create seven new districts and the staunch opposition to it from the Naga people, best demonstrated by the ongoing economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council since November 1 last year. So while it is the territorial integrity of the State in the valley area, it will be Naga integration in the hill areas, particularly in the Naga dominated districts. In the process other important issues such as water supply, roads and communications and education of the young students will never be the main issue under which the election should be ideally held.
No doubt the BJP has been promising piped water supply to every household if they get elected to power and the Congress did say the same thing in an election meeting, but then these are not emotive issues and hence are pushed to the backburner. Wonder why these issues are not raised by the public. The question is, can Manipur expect to see a positive change after the election and a new Government (whether it is a Congress or a BJP Government) comes in ? Difficult to say but going by the manner in which the first phase of the election has just been held, good governance is the last thing that comes to mind. Remember how the debate raged around the ongoing economic blockade with no party really going into the merits and demerits of the root cause, that is the decision to create the seven new districts. Election compulsion, it must have been for no political party would have wanted to be seen as questioning the wisdom of creating the new districts, but then posers such as the preparedness of the new districts, its infrastructure etc could have been raised for remember the Congress has been crowing that the new districts were created to ensure better administration. All indications that nothing much may change when a new Government comes in.
Source: The Sangai Express