This is an opportunity which the BJP should not lose. Go all out and capitalise on it. The Sangai Express has already underlined the positives of taking the NPF on board the Government and here is the opportunity to see how to take all communities along with the idea of the Government of Manipur. For too long, the State Government had been dubbed the ‘communal Government of Manipur’ by all the Naga civil society organisations but now with the NPF on board, it is unlikely this tag will continue to stick with the BJP led coalition Government. Maybe the number game dictated that the BJP go along with the NPF in forming the Government, but now that this has been realised, the number equation may be put to rest and no efforts should be spared on how to see and take the Naga community along with the idea of the Government of Manipur. Not that the Naga community was not represented in the earlier Congress Government and remember that in Gaikhangam, the State Government had a Naga as the Deputy Chief Minister, but this did not bridge the gap between the State Government and the Naga community. And in dubbing the State Government as communal all understood what it exactly meant. Now the BJP led coalition Government has the best opportunity to put this tag to rest and see how to take things forward. It was along this line that Chief Minister N Biren took pains to point out that there are plans to hold Cabinet meetings in the hill district headquarters and this is something which can go a long way in taking everyone along with the idea that the State Government is there for all and not for any particular community.
Chief Minister N Biren may also take a leaf or two out of the policies adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre. In making it mandatory for Union Ministers to visit the North East, turn by turn and bridge the gap between the North East region and the rest of the country, the Prime Minister has sent out the message that the North East does matter in the Centre’s scheme of things. Likewise, Chief Minister N Biren may also adopt a similar policy and make it necessary for his Council of Ministers to visit and camp at the hill district headquarters at least for a few days in a month. Not only would this send the message that the State Government cares for the hill districts, but it will also enable the Ministers of Manipur to get a first hand account of what is happening in the hill districts. For example, the main road running through the heart of Ukhrul district headquarters is in shambles, but make it compulsory for the Ministers to visit the place at least once a month and automatically one will see a huge improvement in the roads. People to people contact will also get a huge boost this way. In a similar line, the BJP led Government may also explore the possibility of making public the name of the contractors who have been awarded the work order to maintain or repair the roads in the hill districts. This will go a long way in dispelling doubts that it is the valley people alone who have been neglecting the hill districts. N Biren and the BJP certainly cannot afford to lose this opportunity.
Source: The Sangai Express