TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Stakeholders in the polls
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 29th December, 2006



The upcoming 9th Assembly election is going to be a litmus test for the political and social entity known as Manipur and how the people go about exercising their franchise rights in the face of the 'hidden powers' will have a telling effect on the future of the State.

In fact, the upcoming election may be viewed as the most important election in Manipur ever since it attained Statehood in 1972 with so many stake holders pulling in different directions.

To the keen political observers of the State, the picture must be rather clear now, with the resignation of four Naga MLAs from the State Assembly and from their respective political parties.

That these resignations from the Assembly and from their respective parties have come close on the heels of the declarations issued by the powerful United Naga Council that it would only support those candidates who have the interest of the Naga people in their hearts and those who are not aligned with any National political parties is pregnant with meaning.

On the other hand the MPP, in its new avatar as the conglomerate of other regional political parties, has launched a no hold offensive against the Congress, holding it responsible for all the ills affecting the State for the last many years.

In fact the MPP has even gone to the extent of proclaiming that it is the only political party which can protect the territorial integrity of Manipur.

The icing on the cake is the promise by the MPP leaders that AFSPA would be repealed from Manipur in no time, if they are voted to power.

In other words the MPP is pulling no punches in making its stand known but it remains to be seen how far the people will go to buy their propaganda. On the other hand, the Congress too has not been remaining quiet but has been deriding the other political parties particularly the MPP.

Launching propaganda and promising the sky to the people is an oft repeated strategy adopted by various political parties as election time approaches, but care should be taken to see that in their zeal to win over the people, no political party exploits the volatile situation in the State by playing one community against the other or by issuing outlandish promises and assurances.

All the political leaders, whether they are from the MPP, the Congress, CPI or the BJP have all been tested and tried and their political agenda is known to all.

Over and above this, there is no political personality worth the name who has been able to inspire confidence and trust of the people. It is in the absence of a true political leader that Manipur will be going to the polls at such a critical juncture in her history.

In the absence of any political leader who commands respect and who is known for his ideals, the onus on the general population, the electors, become all that more greater, for ensuring the future of the State lies in the type of MLAs we elect to the Assembly.

In fact Manipur is in the present situation because of the acts of commission and omission committed by all the political leaders of the State.

However being a part of the biggest democracy in the world, we have to exercise our franchise rights and elect who we think is the best candidate to represent us in the Assembly.

In executing our duty as citizens of the land, let's try and make sure that our stamp of vote is not bartered away by the freebies doled out by the candidates or by some outlandish promises for the stake is Manipur and nothing else.




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