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Call for election boycott needs more contemplation

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 2 minutes read
Call for election boycott needs more contemplation

The question of whether to boycott the upcoming Lok Sabha election in Manipur, against the backdrop of escalating violence in the peripheries of the Imphal valley, is a matter of grave importance that warrants immediate attention and careful deliberation.
Calls from the public to boycott the election stem from a deep-seated frustration with the ongoing violence and a perceived lack of decisive action from the current government to restore peace and security. The palpable anger among the populace shows the urgency of addressing the root causes of the crisis.
However, amidst these calls for boycott, speculations abound regarding the underlying motivations. Some skeptics posit that such calls could be a strategic maneuver by the ruling government, aimed at bolstering their position in the face of mounting public discontent. Indeed, it is undeniable that the government’s handling of the crisis has come under intense scrutiny, and any decision to boycott the election would not be without its risks and implications.
Yet, amid the uncertainty surrounding the boycott movement, there are discernible signs of the government’s commitment to pressing forward with the electoral process. Meetings of chief ministers convened in Delhi, despite the notable absence of Manipur’s CM Biren, signal a concerted effort to uphold the electoral processes. Additionally, preparations for media coverage, spearheaded by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), further underscore the government’s determination to navigate through the challenges and ensure the successful conduct of the election.
Moreover, the issue of delimitation looms large over the upcoming Lok Sabha election in Manipur, casting a shadow of uncertainty and inequity over the electoral landscape. Delimitation, which is fundamental for ensuring fair representation, remains unresolved as the deadline for the 2026 election draws near.
In the outer regions of Manipur, significant numbers of Meiteis reside. In the outer Manipur constituency, Meiteis can caste the votes for Lok Sabha election but their ability to stand for election is hindered by the constituency’s reserved status for Scheduled Tribes. This disparity in representation raises critical questions about the inclusivity and fairness of the electoral process.
We should also remember that the demand for Scheduled Tribe status by the Meiteis has become a flashpoint, intensifying tensions with other communities such as the Kuki and eliciting opposition from the Nagas. Moreover, the communal tension has further complicated the situation as most fighting is happening at these areas in outer Manipur constituency. Not only there are practical issues but also it has potential for exacerbating existing divisions and fueling conflict.
Lastly, we should know that whether the crisis is resolved or not, for the central government holding election is a must and for the BJP securing both the seat is important. Keeping all these in mind, we should address the call for boycotting the election.

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