TODAY -

Make or break election for political parties
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: February 07, 2022 -



WHILE it is certain that the BJP manifesto for the ensuing assembly election will give emphasis on nationalism or national security blended with developmental promises, the National People's Party (NPP) as well as the Congress-led Manipur Progressive Secular Alliance assuring to withdraw the controversial AFSPA from Manipur would compel the ruling BJP to ponder seriously whether or not to promise anything related to the pro-military legislation.

With state and central party leaders repetitively claiming that the law and order situation has improved significantly, posers would naturally be raised in case the BJP decides to forgo AFSPA from its poll menu.

For the denizens of northeast in general and Manipur in particular, existential and social security is of paramount importance as they believe that the periodical instances of excesses committed by the security forces is basically due to weakness of the regional governments to confront the Union government whenever there is threat perception to identity and traditions of the various indigenous communities.

As apprehension of being reduced to minorities in their own homelands remains the biggest concern for the northeast indigenes, election manifestoes of any political party incorporating constitutional protection of the natives give an insight into collective intention of the political class towards the region.

This is exactly the premise why political organisations of all colours and sizes have been making it a point to include the pledge for repealing the draconian Act in their manifesto, along with various other promises, ranging from better lifestyle to harmonious coexistence of the different ethnic communities, all of whom have varied socio-political aspirations.

As commented earlier, the Covid-19 situation has brought a new dimension to electioneering with the candidates no more enjoying the freedom of making inflammatory speeches aimed at polarising the voters on ethnic lines.

Consequent to the ECI banning large-scale public meetings and rallies to curb spread of the pandemic, social media users have been feasting on the restrictions to counter rhetoric of individual candidates and examining their extrinsic characteristic.

The pandemic situation also provides a rare opportunity from the shrewdest political pundits to the novice voters to ask the political parties and the candidates what they have in mind to steer the state through its various challenges and bring actual reformation, subsequently serving as the barometer to judge who should govern for the next five years.

Unlike the parliamentary elections when the campaign tale generally revolves around national security and making the masses to believe that the country is heading to becoming an economic superpower, assembly elections are altogether a different ball game as the parties in the fray have to focus on localised issues and give the impression that they fully understand the sentiment and aspirations of the local populace.

Nevertheless, it could be safely stated that the public's mandate will not be based on the lofty promises made or vision documents of the parties but on various other factors.

What lies ahead remains uncertain but it could be guaranteed that the ensuing election will be a critical one for political organisations trying to find a foothold in the state as well as those struggling for survival.



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