TODAY -

Looking back to 2012, 2014 elections : Polls under a different Govt
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: March 18 2019 -



What will make the coming Parliamentary elections unique in a sense is the fact that after years, Manipur will see Lok Sabha elections under a non-Congress Government.

This will also be the first time in 15 years that the State will see a Lok Sabha election when Imphal is under a BJP led Government.

No wonder all eyes are on the BJP and its choice of candidates in the two Parliamentary seats.

What will also make the coming elections different from the earlier ones is the point that the vote this time may not be as polarised as the ones witnessed earlier.

Remember under what political climate Parliamentary election was held here in 2014 and more specifically when Assembly election was held in 2012 and earlier in 2007.

Deeply polarised vote this was what the State witnessed and one can recall the days when Chief Minister of Nagaland Nephiu Rio canvassed here while he was still with the NPF back in 2012.

In fact so polarised was the vote that diametrically opposing stands used to unite the people on either side of the hills and the valley.

This was what was deeply disturbing and coming again to the days of 2012, when Rio turned out to be one of the star campaigners, the calling card was something which seemed to pitch the people of the hills against the people of the valley.

This deeply reflected the divide between the Nagas of Manipur and the Meiteis in the valley. The core issue obviously was Nagalim or Greater Nagaland.

Today, the NPF is still very much there in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency, and it will be interesting to see how it plays its card this time round.

This time one can expect leaders of NPF from neighbouring Nagaland coming to pitch for their candidate in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency and with the BJP and the Congress also set to field their own candidate in the said Constituency, it will be interesting to see how the campaigning turns out to be.

The issue still stands, pending a final solution to the Indo-Naga peace talks, but whether this will pitch one set of people against the other is something which only time will tell.

Five years is a pretty long time and while the political outlook on either side may not have changed at all, here is hoping that no political party drums up the issue with an eye on the vote.

The coming days will say whether political parties are ready not to play politics on a sensitive issue just to garner some votes.

Let a climate be created in such a way the coming Lok Sabha elections offer the best opportunity to the people to bridge whatever divide there may have been and walk shoulder to shoulder.

This will make the coming Lok Sabha election all the more meaningful and give all more belief and hope in the greatest definition of democracy.

This is what electing leaders should be all about.



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