Every times when Election Day knocks the doors, issues after issues haunted the political theatre in every states of the country. Whether it may be the local body election or the state general assembly election or the Parliamentary election issues which concerned the people of the state emerges. Unlike other states – issues come up in the public spare during any election times for the North Eastern of States of the sub-continent, however remain different from those of the states in Mainland.
Even though the state of Manipur have only 2 MPs – one for the outer and the other for the inner, in the 545 seat, the election is important – perhaps one of the most important for political reasons. Wining both the seat is what is considered mandatory for the ruling party of the state and defeating the ruling in parliamentary election is what the opposition felt most necessary task, as it will impact the state assembly election.
Before the Narendra Modi led BJP party came to power by toppling the Congress government over huge margin, election time issues for the state of Manipur was prolonged bandh and blockade on High ways, frequent general strike, price hike, AFSPA, demand for legislation of the protection of the indigenous people of the state and the territorial boundary of the erstwhile kingdom. Whichever political parties always use the issue of the NSCN-IM as a tool to make sure that their party is being supported by the rebel group which has been undergoing political dialogue for over 20 years. Assurance for a solution and getting support from the NSCN-IM is not an alien phenomenon to this part of India.
Now, the parliamentary election is again just some few months. As per source it may happen in the month of March this year.
And the issues of the Manipur state are totally different from the earlier days of election time. Today, the boundary issue is not being picked up any civil society organization, talks about protection of the indigenous people or demand for inclusion of the Meetei Meitei people to the Scheduled Tribe list under the constitution of India, demand for amendment of the Article (3) of the constitution of India, repeal of the draconian act AFSPA and similar kinds have been carpeted.
What is surprising is the stand of the Government of Manipur regarding the Bill? And the more astonishing statement comes from a spokesperson of the Union Home Ministry at which he said that foreign migrants which are selected on religious ground on a security democratic India will not be granted without taking consent of the state government? Isn’t the Cab under the Union list? A migrant which has been disapproved by Manipur government but granted citizenship by Uttar Pradesh government will make difference to become a citizen of India. And besides, how could the state functionaries be skipped when authority at the center have to either grant or not to a migrant as the district administration is the first to encounter such matter.
Veteran Politician Okram Joy has yesterday stated that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill comes under the Union list, and saying that consent of the state government will be taken while granting citizenship unacceptable until a clause on the Bill on what the spokesperson had said has been added.
Well, the railway track till Imphal is nearing completion , the population of the indigenous Meitei people have come down to minority and the valley area of the state is now becoming a dumping ground of the illegal migrants without any legislation for protection.
On the other hand students’ bodies and CSOs still fail to join hand in hand to fight for the cause of the erstwhile kingdom. Yet they struggle for the same goal but they fail to joined hand together. Same is with the political parties. It’s time that we stand together and protect Manipur.
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.