Chief Minister O Ibobi must be a worried man. For all his shortcomings, it has to be admitted that he has his hands full. Just take a look at the reality. The economic blockade is still underway and there is no indication that it will be lifted any time soon. On the other hand, the Congress stands boycotted at Sadar Hills, over the failure of the State Government to grant district status to it. This is the present and no one can say how things will develop in the near future. Yes in a few days time, the election code of conduct will be enforced, but be sure that the demand for a mechanism to check the inflow of non-local people into the State will pick up pace, if the recent announcement of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) is anything to go by. Not sure how things will unfold, but issues will continue to dog the State and the people and to be sure the other political parties, particularly the BJP will not leave any opportunity to take a dig at the Congress, keeping in mind the upcoming Assembly election. Then remember there is also the demand that the Meeteis/Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list under the Constitution of India. So far the State Government has not officially stated its position over this question, but the Co-ordinating Body of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (CBSTDCM) had already asked the State Government to recommend the same to the Centre earlier. What progress has the State Government made on this point ? Moreover remember there are others who have voiced their opposition to this demand. How Chief Minister O Ibobi and the Congress manage to walk the tight rope without ruffling the feather of either side remains to be seen.
Not a comfortable position to be in, by any stretch of the imagination and while there will be some who will hold the view that these issues, particularly the issue of granting district status to Sadar Hills, have been played up with an eye on the coming Assembly election, it remains that none of these issues may be resolved easily. It will take more than political acumen to make everyone come to an understanding. Other than the issues which have been mentioned here, there is also the politics of push and pull, seen through the prism of the ongoing political dialogue between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India. However much the Centre may say that the territorial integrity of other States will not be compromised while chalking out a final settlement with the outfit, it remains that the NSCN (I) has not officially dropped the demand of integrating all Naga inhabited areas under one political unit. This line of thought has been picked up by various Naga civil society organisations and this is a point which would not have missed the attention of the State Government. And it also stands that this question can and will impact on the voting pattern of the people. It would therefore not be a surprise if one sees a deeply polarised election, with the hill districts, particularly the Naga dominated districts adopting a different voting pattern and the valley area adopting a different approach, come 2017.
Source: The Sangai Express