By : Shyamsunder Haobam
With just a few days left for the Imphal Municipal Corporation elections, it is the beginning of the clash of archrivals Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). The BJP and INC will be contesting in 26 of 27 Corporation seats. This IMC election will also reflect how much percentage of voters the BJP can eat into, from the ruling congress who is already dogged with dissidents within.
BJP’s Himanta Biswa Sarma, finance and education minister of Assam, who was a congress MLA for 15 long years and later joined and won as BJP Candidate is the chief campaigner of BJP in Manipur. He urged that the congress in Manipur should be annihilated the Assam way and oust the Ibobi led congress government. Himanta also claimed the willingness by ministers and MLAs from the congress to join the BJP and that he was frequently being called by them.
Sarma had also extensively campaigned for the assembly by elections of Thangmeiband and Thongju assembly constitutions , BJP winning both the seats by a thumping margin.
The verbal battle goes on with chief minister Okram Ibobi exhorting that the then BJP government at the centre had committed the blunder of adding “without territorial limits” to the ceasefire agreement between the BJP government and the Nationalist Social Council Nagaland (NSCN-IM) that literally burnt Imphal in 2001. Ibobi also futher stated that as soon as the Narendra Modi led government came to power in 2014, signed the framework agreement with NSCN(IM), the contents of the framework shrouded in mystery.
The Inner Line Permit (ILP), anti-ILP, Schedule Tribe and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that is in force in Manipur are the most discerning issues of the state. Both the BJP and the INC need to handle these issues with a dexterous approach.
Interestingly both the BJP and INC are either not serious about these issues or want to play safe in the campaign for municipal corporation elections by avoiding any agendas with no pronouncement about the present imbroglio.
Citizens are already bothered about problems like corruption, unemployment, rising crime rate, poverty and many more. Many questions have arisen whether the government is really functioning or even concerned about the people.
We have already seen months long economic blockades with the government not taking up any enduring measures to unravel the problem, malfunction of the Pubic distribution system (PDS), maintenance and safeguarding of highways, flash floods caused by drainage system, providing potable water and the list seems never-ending. All of these have been going on, not for years but decades and the question crops up what the government have been accomplishing?
Elections are the best opportunity to bring about the changes and vote is the biggest weapon for this change. Everybody should sensibly cast their votes as voting is not only our right but it is our responsibility as a citizen to select the representative of the people and flush out distorted leaders from politics. Especially the youths must understand how important and prized their vote is, which will help shape the prospect of Manipur.
If we do not vote and select our own representative which we think will outperform than the present elected representative of our area, then not a soul does have any moral right to criticise the elected political leaders.
Let us vote for a change, not to the ones who entice to get our votes. Let us unite and cast our votes with responsibility to bring constructive changes and build a better Manipur.