TODAY -

Fifteen years in the hot seat Ibobi : Man of the moment ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 22 2016 -



Not that he has ever been out of the news but the manner in which Chief Minister O Ibobi is right now occupying prime space in the State newspapers and the local TV channels is noteworthy.

Unlike others, the Chief Minister is hogging the limelight for all the right reasons and this is a welcome change.

Refreshing to note the dignified manner in which he has gone about giving it back word for word to the nonsensical talks of Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang.

Learn the history of Manipur and the North East is the sage advice of the Chief Minister to TR Zeliang and if the man from Nagaland has any sense he should digest this not from the sense of flipping through the school history text books but know the past and present of Manipur and of course his home State Nagaland.

Maybe he can take a leaf or two from Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam who himself is a Naga. Map of Manipur cannot be redrawn.

Another interesting and obvious observation from the Chief Minister in the backdrop of the ongoing peace talk between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM).

Wonder how TR Zeliang and the Naga frontal organisations will take the dignified but firm observation of the Chief Minister but undeniable that the man from Thoubal Assembly Constituency has delivered an important point.

Good to note that this is happening at this point of time wherein he is set to complete a record period of 15 years in the chair of the Chief Minister.

15 years and that too at a stretch without a break in between and clearly Okram Ibobi Singh will find a place in the political history of Manipur when it is written a few decades from now.

Originally from Khangabok Assembly Constituency, no one would have thought that Ibobi would go on to become the Chief Minister of Manipur, leave alone scripting a sort of history as the longest serving Chief Minister of the State.

However lady luck did smile on him when results of the 2002 Assembly election started trickling in.

Not at all likely that he would have become the Chief Minister if Rishang Keishing had won the election from Phungyar Assembly Constituency in 2002.

That was not to be as the veteran political leader and the man with the longest tenure as the Chief Minister of Manipur back then in 2002 was upset by the late Wungnaoshang Keishing.

Moreover remember other heavy weights of the Congress, such as Radhabinod Koijam, Dr Nimaichand Luwang and others had left the Congress.

That left the field free for O Ibobi to be anointed the Chief Minister. Plus his loyalty to the Congress must have been taken note of by the AICC leadership.

Moreover remember the stringent anti-defection Bill was introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha when there was a strong revolt against his leadership with rebel Congress MLAs setting up camps at Kolkata and Delhi.

From then on it has been the Congress and O Ibobi all along and while it still remains to be seen how history treats him, the important question is whether people will remember O Ibobi merely as the longest serving Chief Minister of the State or as one of the better Chief Ministers.

Let the people decide.



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