So one NPF MLA was indeed present at the all parties meet convened by the State Government a few days back to discuss the threat perception to the State in the light of the ongoing peace dialogue between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM).
The meeting gains credence all that more so after the inking of the Framework Agreement in 2015 and the talks doing the round that a final pact is likely to be signed soon between the two entities.
The presence of the NPF MLA at the meeting was news worthy in the face of the stern warning issued by the United Naga Council to all Naga elected members to stay away from anything that may prove to be a detriment to the smooth progress of the peace talk.
It is also important in the sense that after the meeting, the Congress questioned the BJP why the NPF stayed away from the meeting despite the fact that it is a major partner in the BJP led coalition Government.
The Congress did not stop there for it was the president of the MPCC (I), TN Haokip, who announced to the media that one NPF MLA was indeed present at the meeting, a few days after questioning the BJP on the NPF’s absence.
Now what ? Will the UNC jump the gun and raise a hue and cry against the presence of the NPF MLA at the meeting or will it study why the NPF MLA attended the meeting in the first place ?
This is indeed a point which has been spelt out by none other than UNC president Gaidon Kamei, that it would first study the motive of the MLA in attending the all political parties meeting.
This is a sane approach, for mere attendance cannot and should not be taken to mean that it is an attempt to jeopardise the smooth progress of the peace talk.
As a member of the coalition Government and as an MLA, nothing amiss should be read into the attendance of the MLA at the meeting.
After all mere attendance cannot and should not be equated with taking any course of action that may jeopardise the ongoing peace process.
If there were going to be any such misgiving, the NPF should have never agreed to be part of the coalition Government in Manipur.
It would have made much better sense for the party to have realised that as the party heading the State Government, the BJP would have done everything within its means to safeguard the interest of the State.
The NPF should have stayed away from the coalition instead extending outside support.
That would have been in the fitness of things, and such a move would have put the party a notch or two higher in the estimates of the people.
An outside partner would not have had to answer to the UNC in such a situation.
This is the reality which the UNC too should not lose sight of.
On the other hand, Chief Minister N Biren seems pretty confident that the territorial integrity of Manipur will remain intact given the public assurance from the Prime Minister during the run up to the Assembly election some time back but this time there is the need to move beyond the understanding of territorial integrity and try to read between the lines in the stand of AMUCO and the UCM.
Source: The Sangai Express