TODAY -

Inadvertently strengthening Cong : Election via the blockade
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: January 20 2017 -



The United Naga Council (UNC) has already made its point.

And it is time they act on the fact that the longer they continue with the economic blockade, the better the prospects of Chief Minister O Ibobi and his party the Congress to come back to power.

Or maybe the ongoing economic blockade has already made the upcoming Assembly election a sure shot poll for the Congress and it is this which the UNC should realise.

Not the first time that the Congress and Chief Minister O Ibobi have been able to make political capital out of the stubborn stand adopted by some hill based organisations. Remember 2012 too.

Just two years before the Assembly election was held, the State Government under Chief Minister O Ibobi barred the entry of Thuingaleng Muivah into Manipur and while the Congress stood boycotted in the Naga dominated districts following the Naga People’s Convention in Senapati, it did remarkably well in other parts of the State to sweep the polls like never before.

Despite the growing popularity of the BJP and the presence of an alternative to the Congress, the party which has been in power for the last 15 years may just return for the fourth term, given the fact that the election will be a highly polarised one.

So if the Congress is on slippery ground in the Naga dominated districts, it will surely find a healthy response in Kangpokpi districts which has three Assembly Constituencies.

It was only in 2015 that Churachandpur district went up in flames after the three Bills were passed in the Assembly, but there is every likelihood that the creation of the seven new districts and the ongoing economic blockade will have a bigger impact on the election this time.

More than obvious that the creation of the seven new districts caught the BJP on the backfoot and this could be another reason why the BJP led Central Government has left nothing to chance while pointing an accusing finger at the Chief Minister for not being able to open NH-2 or the Imphal-Dimapur highway.

There could be some truth in this, yet it also stands that trying to bulldoze through NH-2 using the security personnel at hand can lead to bloodshed and violence.

No one would want this and this is a point which should not blow over the heads of the Centre.

Remember the people coming out to enforce the blockade are ordinary village folks, who probably do not really know the politics of the blockade and the politics of creating the seven new districts.

More than evident that the ongoing economic blockade has been viewed through the prism of the upcoming Assembly election and this is one reason why it took the State Government so long to issue an invitation to the UNC for a talk.

It is this point which should not blow over the heads of the UNC leadership. The irony is palpable.

On the one hand the UNC is deadly against the Congress and the Chief Minister yet in prolonging the economic blockade they are only brightening the poll prospects of the Congress and another term in office for Okram Ibobi.



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