TODAY -

Issues galore for polls, intense bickering guaranteed
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: October 02, 2021 -



APART from the various unsolved issues that had been besieging the state for the past many years, some recent developments such as the controversies over the move of the Hill Areas Committee for empowering the Autonomous District Councils and the sensational abduction and murder of Zeliangrong civil society leader Athuan Abonmai are certain to make the upcoming 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly one of the fiercely contested elections.

Regardless of the ruling BJP seemingly better placed to take on its rivals this time around than the situation the party had faced in the previous election, it is certain that neither the alliance partners nor the opposition parties would allow the saffron party to comfortably cruise to victory.

While it is obvious that some of the allies would make the ADC Bill a major agenda during election campaign, the Congress party would be alleging tardy implementation of infrastructure development projects in addition to drugs and farmers' issues.

Other issues that might become a bone of contention could be frequent transfer of bureaucrats, the demand for granting Scheduled Caste status to the Meetei community, increasing number of unemployed people, hike in prices of petroleum products, etc.

Lack of harmony within the coalition government ahead of the crucial polls could be comprehended from a team of tribal MLAs and Outer MP Dr Lorho Pfoze airing their utter displeasure over the stalled ADC Bill to the central leaders at the national capital.

Even if union ministers and BJP central leaders are unlikely to make any decision or issue directive against the stand of the BJP-led government, the tribal legislators have rung out the message that candidates fielded by the BJP in tribal dominated assembly constituencies would be made answerable for non-tabling of the ADC Bill in the last assembly session before the upcoming elections.

Interestingly, another major ally - NPP had announced that it wouldn't enter into any pre-poll pact but would join hands with the single largest party to form the government, thereby implying that it is not averse to befriending with any political entities.

On its part, both BJP state and central leaders have already been pitching for formation of the next government on its own.

As the coalition government had experienced some topsy-turvy situation over varied issues, the BJP would be eager to administer the state without any support from unreliable, unpredictable and sulky partners.

Among the disgruntled allies, the NPP unarguably has been emerging as a strong contender for the upcoming election particularly after some young, politicians but proactive so-called social workers joined the Conrad Sangma-led political organisation.

After the mid-term ouster of its two ministers from the N Biren government, it is but natural for the NPP to hold grudges against its major partner and wait for an opportune moment to proof its worth.

This stand of the NPP also gives hope to the Congress party to return to power, in case it could receive the same mandate, if not more, as in the previous polls.

Thus, considering the hostile stand of the tribal legislators and the aspiring candidates against the government vis-a-vis the ADC Bill, discord among the alliance partners and the Congress party leaders clearly indicating that they are not comfortable donning the role as the opposition, it could be safely stated that the campaigns for the election will be dominated by intense bickering.



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