TODAY -

Will pact with Abonmai JAC silence Govt detractors?
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: October 08, 2021 -



IF or when justice will be delivered to mercilessly slain Zeliangrong civil society leader Athuan Abonmai, only time will tell.

However, there is no foreseeable reason to doubt that chief minister N Biren has scripted another success story when his government managed to bring an end to possible furtherance of public movement over the abduction and murder case.

The government finally reaching an agreement with the Abonmai JAC on Wednesday despite lack of consensus in the last three meetings shows firm resolve of the chief minister-to keep his track record clean, at-least in preventing agitations that could otherwise disrupt normal life.

By getting directly involved in the negotiation process and subsequent signing of the memorandum of agreement, the chief minister has made it crystal clear that as head of the state he wouldn't relent from reaching out to anybody if the situation and case so warrants.

As it was apparent that the JAC, spurred on by several influential civil society organisations, was equally determined to take the case to its logical end, the parleys initiated within a week of Athuan's death ending with the government agreeing to all the demands put forth by the agitation spearhead could be attributed to the CM's now-familiar policy of freeing the state from the culture of bandh and strike.

With the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections only few months away and the opposition parties already making their intention clear to corner the establishment, the pact signed with the JAC will definitely help dilute and counter the opposition's rant over the Abonmai issue.

There are various other issues besetting the state which the opposition leaders are certain to exploit to try in neutralising and blunting the achievement card that the government would be playing to retain power but the fact remains that Manipur has been comparatively calmer now than under all the previous regimes.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus and its continuous threat, indeed came a blessing in disguise for the N Biren government as nearly half the five-year period was dominated by tremendous distress and depression caused by the pandemic naturally subduing possibility of recurrence of major unwanted socio-ethnic issues that had been otherwise commonplace in the past.

It's also an undeniable fact that some of the incidents that did crop up during the present regime were decisively tamed on the negotiating table before they got out of hands, thereby depriving the government detractors from arousing and exploiting public sentiments.

It's noteworthy that the present government brought to an end the longest ever economic blockade within weeks of its formation and is now poised to round off its first inning by preventing further public outrage over the Athuan Abonmai case.

Of course, there are still few sensitive issues pending solution and are out of the ambit of the government of Manipur but theoverall rate of success so far in prevailing over the aggrieved parties has showcased the steely resolve of the chief minister to not only erase the state's past record as a forbidden and godforsaken place but also to enhance his personal profile with the ultimate aim of prolonging his and BJP's grip.



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