Some spread rumours that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have teleprompter while delivering speech at Hapta Kangjeibung here in Imphal yesterday. But the way, Mr. Modi spoke in public meeting yesterday, which was live telecasted at Local TV channel showed that, the rumour is wrong. Prime Minister spoke details about Manipur without looking at any notes and he was neither prompted nor disturbed by anybody while delivering his around 35 minutes long speech.
In his speech, he didn’t left out any part of the state, and what is more interesting is that he knows details of all villages and almost all sort of development works at which he had inaugurated and laid foundation stone yesterday. The speech that Prime Minister of India delivered yesterday showed that he being a leader of the country did his home work well before coming to the state. Perhaps, Mr. Modi deserves his present position – the prime Minister of India as far as his wisdom about the nook and corner of the country is concerned.
The sad part is that, even after knowing everything about the state, he announced nothing for the state. The multiple issues which gave headache to the government of Manipur have not been mentioned and he said nothing to solve the financial crisis being face by the state government. The 7th Pay demand, the border pillar issue, the Frame work agreement, implementation of the Act East Policy, problem of the commuters along the NH 102 due to frequent checking by Assam Rifles troopers, the issue for protection of Indigenous people and people’s demand for inclusion of Scheduled Tribe status for Meitei/Meetei community were not mentioned. Government seems to be shocked as no package for taking up any development works has been announced. The prime Minister however had talk about construction of some more Ima market sheds. On the other hand, sections of people have now started questioning - why the Prime Minister visited the state? Most people considered the visit more for political purpose, as Parliament Assembly constituency is knocking at the door.
On the other hand, in his speech the Prime Minister had stated that Leishang Village in Kangpokpi district of Manipur is the last village in India to be electrified. This perhaps should not have been included to his speech as it will be criticized from section because what he was telling was not true at all. When a prime Minister speaks wrong definitely people will say that he lied. How could he not know that there are villages in Manipur which have not been electrified, where children of the village read on candle and kerosene and never experience the taste of electricity?
Yesterday this newspaper published a news story reported by ANI agency about the existence of such village under the heading - “Powerless Thoubal, Hangoipat Chinkhong villagers live on candle, kerosene”, the story was about a village in Thoubal district and in Wangjing Tentha Assembly Constituency called Hoingoipat Village. This is not the only village where electricity is a dreamt. Another Village called Chingkhonglong under Tousem Sub-Division of Tamenglong District is also not yet electrified.The road leading to the village is worst and even Google map doesn’t show the route.
One thing which is being questioned is the harassment meted out by air passenger at Imphal airport. When the Prime Minister is the champion of abolishing the VIP culture, why all flights has to be delayed during his visit in the state. A newspaper report said that flights of more than 700 passengers delayed for hours and remains stranded inside the airport due to the Prime Minister’s visit.
And one more thing which the prime Minister as well as the Chief Minister of Manipur seems to forgot is that yesterday rebel groups called total shut down and another boycott the Prime Minister’s visit. And speaking on the occasion Chief Minister stated that Manipur is now a bandh free. What a lei?
And one wonders why those citizen of the state who dare the shut down called were again harassed by the state police force.
End point: - It’s hard to decide on whether the visit of Prime Minister is a scourge or boon.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.