TODAY -

Varying Agenda: Promises galore, commitments little
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: April 01, 2009 -



Now all the macabre incidents that happened in thepast few months including one of the most brutal murders of all time–murder of SDO Dr Th Kishan and his two staff by men of NSCN-IM and other myriad daily killings by the Manipur Police Commandos and Central Security Forces and so many other issues seem to have been pushed aside.

For Lok Sabha election is just round the corner, and everyone's attention seems to have been drawn towards matters relating to the election. Talks, most important just next to the daily killings of youths– suspected insurgents in so-called encounters, among the general public now centre around the election.

Who are contesting in the Inner and Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituencies, whose chances of winning the two seats are brighter, who are backing whom and so on are the questions being asked and talked about among the people. As the required formalities such as filing of nomination papers, scrutiny and withdrawal of nomination papers are completed by next week, the hustings will naturally intensify.

In the meantime, till the last date of filing of nomination papers for the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, nine candidates including two women had filed papers. Scrutiny of their nomination papers was being held by the authority while this comment was written.

Anyway, there are candidates of various political hues belonging to different tribes ready and eager to jump into the fray. Most noticeably, there is the sitting MP, Manicharenamei, the MP of the Nagas, for the Nagas and by the Nagas, preparing to fight to retain the seat in the Parliament.

No one in Manipur would have forgotten how this man got elected as MP five years back. To just start reactivating readers' memory, it may be recalled that the United Naga Council, a pro-NSCN-IM Naga body, had fielded Manicharenamei and campaigned for him using all resources at its (and NSCN-IM's) command.

How the other Naga candidate –T Lolli Adani and his supporters and workers were forced to run limited campaign thus opening a wide avenue for Manicharenamei to tromp other rivals and clinch the Outer seat is all part of history now. But it's a part of the history that had better be remembered by all the tribal electorate of the state.

Then there are other candidates– to name a few among the rest–Thangso Baite of Indian National Congress, T Lolli Adani of BJP, LB Sona of NCP, Rose Mangshi Haokip of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Valley Rose Hungyo, Independent, etc. As usual these candidates and their parties have different political agenda with which they try to sway the voters of the hills.

More often than not, the basis of the campaign for most of the candidates of the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency is built on ethnic considerations and differences, may be divisions between the hills and the valley of the state, how the hills people have been deprived of their rightful shares of funds for development by the valley people and so on.

But Manicharenamei's kind of campaign beats them all. As everyone now knows, his agenda steadfastly focus on the NSCN-IM's demand of disintegration of Manipur's territory and integration of Naga-inhabited areas. What he did and said during the past five years in and outside the parliament stand as testimony.

Thus the candidates of the Outer Manipur Constituency, as in the past elections, would rely on their own agenda that vary with each other's to garner votes. They would certainly make plenty of promises. Meanwhile, considering the circumstances, the fight for the Outer seat surely looks destined to be between the sitting MP, Manicharenamei and the rest.

INC candidate Thangso Baite, BJP candidate Lolly Adani and NCP candidate LB Sona among the rest are likely to give Manicharenamei a good challenge.

If no obstruction, no intimidation, no kidnap, no gunpower and such unwanted things hamper the election campaign and if the polling is held in a completely free and fair manner, then the chances are that the state will most probably have a change in the Outer seat.





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