TODAY -

Shadow of CAB on Lok Sabha elections : Manifesto speak
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 11 2019 -



The logic in the observation ‘CAB in manifesto is logical’ from BJP MLA and MPCB Chairman L Radhakishore is perfectly understandable.

For a party which had already officially announced that CAB will be brought back if it is voted back to power, it is but natural to see CAB being included in the manifesto of the BJP.

It is also understandable why the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) should reiterate its stand against CAB and so is the assertion of different student organisations that the CAB should be erased from the manifesto of the BJP.

The stand of these entities is clear but what is not clear is the assertion that the CAB will not affect Manipur or the North East.

This is too sweeping a statement and will need to be qualified by some other points, such as ‘The BJP top leadership is open to the idea of inserting a special clause to exempt Manipur or the North East.’

The stand of the NPP and the NPF is also clear with Conrad Sangma making it clear that the party is ready to even pull out of the NDA if the Bill is enacted.

NPF candidate in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency Dr Soso Pfoze is also clear on where the party stands on the CAB.

The Congress too has already made its stand clear with AICC president Rahul Gandhi making it clear that if elected to power, the CAB will be trashed.

More than clear that after a brief lull, CAB has all the potential to become the main issue ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The interesting question is how this will impact on the prospects of the BJP candidates, Dr RK Ranjan in the Inner and Benjamin Mate in the Outer.

Featuring CAB, the attention of the people in the North East, particularly Manipur must have been drawn only towards this and not the other points which the BJP had mentioned in its manifesto and this is not really surprising.

Likewise attention of the people too must have been drawn to one specific point of the manifesto of the Congress-the promise to amend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, if voted to power.

It was therefore not surprising to see Works Minister Th Biswajit going on the offensive and pointing out that the most number of alleged custodial deaths in the State occurred when the Congress was in power.

This is a point which can fire back on the Congress if not tackled correctly.

Moreover it stands that the question of amending the Army Act was never referred to during the decades rule of the Congress.

Granted it was during the Congress regime at Imphal that the Army Act was withdrawn from the Municipal areas of Imphal but this still does not answer the question of what happened to the recommendations of the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee that was constituted after the battered and bullet riddled body of Th Manorama was discovered when the Congress was in power both at New Delhi and Imphal.

Use of force and threats in a democratic exercise such as electing the people’s representatives should not be reduced to an exercise of threat and coercion.



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