Home » Pardon us your Excellency: but as Governor of the state we do expect your intervention

Pardon us your Excellency: but as Governor of the state we do expect your intervention

by Jeet Akoijam
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It would not be too far from the truth to remark that the common people of the state is still living in perpetual hope and nothing much more, given the spontaneous euphoria of the people when power changed hands in Manipur after a decade-and half of increasing nepotism, heightened state-sponsored terrorism, bureaucratic red-tapism and a plethora of cases of misgovernance have now given way to fear of expressing public opinions, stark mismatches between promises and performances; and outright dismissal of reports concerning misappropriation of public funds, to name just a few. Perhaps the unsavory recent developments in the political struggle reiterate the fact that politics of development and politics of power are contradictory, and that power does not equate performance.
The aspirations of the people for a transparent, empathic and decisive leader is still proving elusive, as the expressed intents and promises of these leaders are gradually turning into empty rhetoric and disappointment. What is more surprising is that despite the popular public perception that the present state government is one approved and appointed in line with the agenda of the Modi Government at the centre, there has been details of blatant violation of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 which the Prime Minister himself pursued for reforms to check nepotism and corruption amid much cheers and fanfare, as reported in Imphal Times against the Chairperson of Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) on more than one count. The state government has still yet to react to the report despite the details presented in the report- yet another indication of the complicity of the high and mighty in such cases of misappropriations of huge public funds and abuse of powers. Such uncharacteristic silences of an otherwise vocal leader of the government lend greater credence to the perceptions of a compromised integrity and acquired irresponsibility. The misleading and misinformed rejoinder of the said chairperson to the report almost confirms the public perceptions.
Another report by Imphal Times on August 8 regarding the lack of kits for extracting RNA for Covid-19 testing at RTPCR, and the subsequent outsourcing of the procurement to contractors/suppliers these essential kits has caused concern to a large number of readers, but surprisingly the state government and the authority entrusted to handle such issue have so far remained silent on the matter. Creation of contracts for works which could or should be handled by the various departments are increasingly coming to light, and for now, the state government is following the ‘Silence is the best policy’, which in matters pertaining to the public is more than likely to backfire.
These emerging undesirable events have raised a very important question- who should the public turn to if those who are entrusted and elected to act for the welfare of the public turned a deaf ear despite presenting detailed reports and overwhelming evidences of wrongdoing by the government officials working in the public domain? In a state where the public is more suspicious and wary of resorting to legal resources, frustrations and mistrust is bound to build up over time.
While the constitutional powers of the Governor might not cover such issues or is beyond the jurisdiction of duty, being the nominal head of state, it is given that the primary function of the governor is to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law as incorporated in his/her oath of office under Article 159 of the Indian constitution in the administration of the State affairs. All his/her actions, recommendations and supervisory powers (Article 167c, Article 200, Article 213, Article 355, etc.) over the executive and legislative entities of a State shall be used to implement the provisions of the Constitution. The emerging worrisome trend may be considered a threat to the constitution of the country and what it was envisaged for, and the Governor should look into ways in which these issues can be directed to the authorities for rectification.
Changing the world starts with changing ourselves. If we cannot make right these petty issues despite the mounting proofs and pressures, change is inevitable and could mean the only way out of this recurring political nightmare.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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