TODAY -

Grassroot democracy in the hills : The threat perception
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: July 15 2015 -



From six out six in 2010 to one out of six in 2015 and indeed it has been a huge climb down for the Congress.

This is how the Congress has fared in the election to the Autonomous District Council held earlier this year.

A disappointment it must be for the party which is into its third consecutive term in office as the party in power at Imphal.

The huge loss of the Congress has meant a big gain for the Naga People’s Front and the BJP which have managed to steal the thunder.

The only place where the Congress is set to retain its seat comfortably is Sadar Hills where it did commendably well in winning 17 out of the 24 seats which went to polls.

In the other ADCs, with the exception of Tamenglong, where it managed to win 10 seats, the Congress was practically wiped out.

Making things more complex for the Congress is the fact that none of the victorious Congress’ candidate could personally take part in the swearing in ceremony in the Naga inhabited areas.

No official reasons have been given for the absence of the elected Congressmen, but it certainly gives some weight to the earlier hints that even today Congress candidates and their supporters continue to receive threats.

The assassination of ADC Member of the Congress, Ngalangzar Malue near Finch Corner in Ukhrul district some time last year has only added to the apprehension of the threat perception.

Couple this with the fact that the ADC could not function properly from their hill district headquarters in the Naga dominated districts last term and this may explain why none of the elected Congress candidate could be seen during the swearing in ceremony held on July 13.

No one or no organisation boycotted the ADC election this time, unlike the last time when there was a strict call to boycott the same in the Naga inhabited areas of the hill districts.

In fact so strong was the boycott call that not a single ADC could function freely from their respective district headquarters in the Naga hills. The result was there for all to see.

The elected ADC Members from the Naga hills had to be housed at Imphal and function from here.

It was amid this threat perception that a bomb explosion rocked the road that leads to the place where the ADC Members were housed killing two young kids.

The condemnations and protests that followed underlined how strongly the people reacted against such mindless killings. There were other unsavoury incidents at Imphal too.

All these factors taken together are no doubt responsible for the threat perception to still persist.

Will definitely take more than tough talks to neutralise the fear and anxiety but this should not mean that the Government can afford to take things lying down.

It is not just a question of Congressmen or Congress candidates living under threat but also about how effective is the writ of the Government.

The ADC Members have been sworn in and it is only right that no efforts are spared to make them function freely and effectively.



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