TODAY -

Why not a Union Cabinet Minister for us !

Free Thinker *



The new generation would be surprised to know the fact that so far there is none from Manipur in the Union Cabinet of the Government of India since 1949. In the last 70 years or so not a single person could become a Cabinet Minister at the Centre. It is really demeaning and ignominious for us. Yes, of course we had a series of Ministers of State.

In the last NDA Government led by Atalji , Shri Chaoba Singh was MOS in the Union Council of Ministers. Fifty-six years of Congress (&UPA) rule could not produce a Union Cabinet Minister from Manipur. Again, 11 and half years of BJP (NDA) rule still unable to induct a Cabinet Minister from Manipur.

As a layman, I don't know who is responsible for this – the Centre or the State ? Or is it because of the ultimate exigencies of number-based politics ?

At this juncture fortunately we have five Members of Parliament from Manipur. They are Mary Kom (Nominated Member in Rajya Sabha), Maharaj Leisemba Sanajaoba (MP, Rajya Sabha), Raju Bista (Darjeeling MP, in Lok Sabha), Dr Lorho Pfoze (Outer Manipur MP, in Lok Sabha) and Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur MP, in Lok Sabha).

Though Shri Raju Bista represents Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency, actually he belongs to Manipur as he was born and brought up in Charhajare, Senapati district of Manipur and also married a local girl.

Madam Mary Kom is an independent MP in the Upper House of Parliament; right now, she is extremely busy getting herself ready for the Tokyo Olympics. Her goal is to win the Gold. This is her ultimate dream; she made it clear umpteen times. She said she will retire after winning the Olympic Gold-so be it.

Everyone knows that winning an Olympic medal is no joke, it is really tough. The competition level is extremely high in the Olympics. Still, she will not mind getting herself inducted in the Union Cabinet; let her take charge later, when she comes back from Tokyo with flying colors.

Dr Lorho is from NPF (Naga People's Front) an ally of BJP and part of NEDA (North-East Democratic Alliance) which is an offshoot of NDA . He is a very qualified doctor, did his MBBS from Imphal and PG from Kolkata, an activist and social worker since student days.

As a Member of Parliament he is still helping people wherever and whenever possible without any discrimination. Dr Lorho is a fine gentleman and a very lovable leader. We firmly believe that given a chance he will certainly prove his calibre as a Union Minister !

Shri Raju Bista, though he represents Darjeeling , he is still our man in Delhi. He always shares the weal and woes of the people of Manipur– Meiteis, Gurhkas, Nagas ,Kukis and so on. He is serving the people without any racial or ethnic bias.

In a way he represents both the people of Darjeeling and Manipur. He is serving the interest of both the people of Darjeeling and Manipur. He raised the issues pertaining to Gurkhas and Manipuris. He is closely associated with the Parivaar and Seva Bharati. He may be given a chance to serve the people better–what about giving him a Ministerial responsibility ?

Shri Leisemba Sanajaoba, the titular King of Manipur, the present Rajya Sabha MP is still considered by many as the de facto Maharaja of Manipur. In whatever he does he always tries to strike a balance among the religious groups and ethnic minorities of the State.

However, his constant engagement with the age-old tradition, practices and rituals make some people feel that he is closer to Lord 'Pakhangba' and Lord 'Sanamahi'. There is nothing wrong in that because both the Lords are believed to be his direct revered ancestors.

Maharaj Leisemba is a very sober, soft spoken and receptive young man. His commitment to the cause of the people is beyond any doubt. We trust he has the spirit and courage to fulfil the National expectations and local aspirations. Centre may try him as a young Union Minister.

Last but not the least, we have an academician and a die-hard environmentalist as a Member of Parliament. He is none other than our popular 'Yambung Ranjan'. Day in and day out he is running here and there to help the Covid affected people; in the affected localities and villages he distributed food items, medical equipment, sanitizers, Covid medicines, oxygen cylinders, etc.

Without the MPLAD fund he had to manage all these things by borrowing, hiring, begging and sharing with the rich and influential. He took the support from Sevabharati and Party Cadres to undertake these activities. His non-stop appeals for mass vaccination are also well received. At the age 68 he is so energetic and still going around to help the poor and hapless at this critical juncture of pandemic.

Despite tremendous resource constraints he still continues to help the people. What about his induction in the Cabinet ?

My only plea to the juggernaut leadership at the Centre is that-this is the right time to please and appease the people of Manipur. In good faith the leadership have done incredible things for the country. Why can't a Manipuri be made a part of the Union Cabinet ? 70 years have gone by, nobody bothers.

People believe that the present leadership in Delhi does things differently. Consecration of a Manipuri native to the Union Cabinet by Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi will create history.

IF NONE FOUND SUITABLE, I AM AT YOUR DISPOSAL SIR.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on July 02 2021.



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