Issues besetting State before LS polls Heavy pressure on Govt

MU crisis, the points put up by tribal student organisations namely, ATSUM, ANSAM, KSO Ghqs vis-a-vis the MU crisis, 7th Pay demand, ST status for Meiteis demand. The pressure on the Government is clear and while it remains to be seen how the BJP led Government deals with all these issues, it stands that each of these issues have the potential to derail the smooth functioning of the Government and no one would like that. And bigger and more dicey than these issues is the ongoing peace talk between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). Enough assurances have been given that nothing will be done to infringe on the territorial integrity of the State, but the manner in which the Framework Agreement signed back in 2015 has been kept under such a veil of secrecy has only added more fuel to fire the suspicion of the people. It is partially due to the high level secrecy surrounding the Framework Agreement that the focus of the people has shifted from territorial integrity of Manipur to opposing any proposal to extend the provisions of Article 371A to the soil of Manipur. Or any sort of an arrangement which may lead to a sort of dual administration in the State. Making things all that more interesting is the fact that the country is going to polls sometime next year and all these issues have the potential to impact on the voting behaviour of the people. Manipur gets to send just two MPs in the Lok Sabha, but given the Congress Mukt slogan of the BJP, the party in power at New Delhi and Imphal will leave nothing to chance to ensure that the Congress is given a licking in the two Lok Sabha seats next year.
This is where it will get interesting. Will the BJP be able to win over the trust and confidence of the people in the backdrop of the fact that the MU crisis has been dragging on for so long ? How about the Congress ? What tactics will it employ to win over the people by whipping up the MU issue ? How about the 7th Pay ? Can this issue work against the BJP in the coming election or will the BJP be able to neutralise any ill feeling that the issue over the 7th Pay will generate ? Wouldn’t comparisons be drawn up with the manner in which the previous Pay recommendation was implemented when the Congress was in power here ? As noted here, the biggest issue obviously will be the negotiation between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM). Will the final outcome, if and when it comes, go down well with the people of Manipur, especially in the Inner Parliamentary seat ? Important to question too, whether the final outcome will please the Nagas, who have a big say in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency. It also stands that the final outcome of the Lok Sabha polls can have a big impact on the BJP led Government as well as on the leadership quality of Chief Minister N Biren. So even as the Lok Sabha election is a certainty in the early part of 2019, it is not yet clear when the MU crisis will blow over.

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