A word of caution for the BJP led Govt Tinted with saffron ?

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Rs 201 crore package for Ukhrul district. Rs 185 crore package for Kangpokpi district. Clearly Chief minister N Biren is trying to reach out to the hill districts and this is a welcome sign. Not that the previous Congress Government ignored the hill districts, but the manner in which the recently formed BJP led Government has gone out to reach out to the hill districts is noteworthy. Next in line should obviously be Churachandpur district, where the bodies of eight of the nine people killed in the uprising against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015 are still lying in state. As noted in this column earlier, the State Government is today no longer the ‘communal Government of Manipur’, a tag which all Naga civil society organisations identified the previous Government with and this is an opportunity which the new Government should not lose. At the moment, all that can go right seems to be going right, but politics is a funny thing and to a large extent much will depend on how successfully the BJP is able to read and understand the pulse of the people. Satisfying all will not be possible, but then the State Government will need to ensure that it least sends out the message that it is trying to look into the grievances or needs of every section of the people while maintaining that Manipur should be at the top of the agenda of everyone. How successfully it carries its allies, especially the Naga People’s Front remains to be seen but it will be a tough ride to take them along with the idea of a Manipur as it stands today. That test will come anytime and much will depend on how well the BJP led Government is equipped to deal with such an eventuality.

All these are words of caution and in N Biren the BJP has a leader who has seen and experienced it all. Remember this is his fourth consecutive term in office as an MLA and the lessons learnt from the past will surely come in handy. And it is here that the Chief Minister will have to see how to dilute the impact of saffronisation that is beginning to rear its head. If preliminary reports are anything go by then surely the first real test in this connection will come when the Attorney General has to be formally appointed. The interesting question is, is the non-local man supposedly named or indicated for the post of the next AG, a choice of the State Government or is it a move initiated by the Centre under the BJP ? The latter seems more likely with the State Government told to go along with the hand picked man of the Centre. It is this which the BJP led Government here should be wary of. Saffronisation may work in States which are in mainland India, but it cannot be the same when it comes to the North East States, especially a State like Manipur, which is home to a number of communities, each professing their own religion. Chief Minister N Biren should note the point that not many will fall in line with saffronisation and it would be a tragedy if this outweighs the performance of the State Government.

Source: The Sangai Express

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