TODAY -

Election time season of plentiful promises
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: January 04, 2022 -



TAKING into account that Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the first sports university in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, which sadly is nowhere on the sports map of the country in-spite of its huge geographical size and despite being the most-populated state, it's not surprising that the Union government would be announcing launch of various infrastructure development projects in the economically backward and infrastructure deficit state like Manipur during the PM's ensuing visit on January 4.

As it has been a tradition for any ruling political entity to announce projects, state or region-specific welfare schemes and waive financial liabilities when election is round the corner, it is obvious that the Prime Minister wouldn't come to Manipur empty-handed.

The slew of projects PM Modi would be announcing will also provide fire-power to the BJP election campaign leaders to neutralise the opposition camp's persistent contentions that frequent visits of union ministers to the state do not serve any real purpose on the ground as these sojourns are for mainly party's election activities and nothing else.

However, it is now clear that various projects to be inaugurated by PM Modi will not only expose incompetency of the previous regime to accelerate projects launched prior to formation of the BJP-led government in the state but the planned launch of multiple projects, especially improvement of road infrastructure/setting up of a cancer hospital and tap water connectivity would be an eye-opener to those political elites who underrated the masses' aspiration to have access to basic needs of life or wished to be a part of the developmental process.

Nevertheless, there would be still substantial number of issues besetting the state which PM Modi is unlikely to address or be hesitant to mention in his election rally, such as the demand for repealing the pro-military AFSPA, inclusion of Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribes list of the Constitution, Indo-Myanmar boundary disputes, enactment of the proposed ADC Bill-2021, to name a few niggling issues.

In what could be an election-related sops, forest minister Awangbow Newmai conveyed that Union minister Bhupender Yadav has assured of providing Rs 97 crore to protect the famous Loktak Lake, and there is possibility that more centrally-sponsored schemes might be announced either before the enforcement of election model code of conduct or after the formation of BJP exclusive government or a coalition led by the saffron party, for giving promises have been indispensable and dominant traits of the five-yearly democratic exercises.

Considering the fact that the run-up to the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election has seen one of the most aggressive speeches from political leaders of both the ruling and the opposition apart from very personal and disgusting remarks, there is no way that such hostile stand will be softened to any degree after confirmation of the people's verdict.

It could also be safely stated that whichever political conglomerate comes to power priority will not be necessary on socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens but to devise and execute plans for burying the opponents to the extent of ensuring complete obliteration with the same process starting afresh when time arrives for the next elections.



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