UNC’s stand on district creation What is the way forward ?

The stand of the United Naga Council (UNC) is clear. Roll back the decision that created seven new districts, particularly Kangpokpi district and Jiribam district. On the other hand the stand of the BJP led Government is unclear, though Chief Minister N Biren had stated that the decision to create the districts would not be rolled back, some time back. Given this then why continue with the talk, is a question that may be raised to the Government. Say no rollback on the district creation (courtesy the Chief Minister) and yet continue to talk with the UNC whose sole demand is to revert the decision to create the districts and this gives rise to the question, ‘Is the district creation issue a negotiable matter ?’ True it was not the BJP led Government which took the decision to create the districts, but the previous Congress Government, but still what is the formal and official stand of the Government on the demand raised by the UNC ? Or is the BJP led Government just keeping the UNC on hold with the series of talks so that Manipur does not see a repeat of the marathonesque boycott imposed by the UNC after the then Congress Government announced the creation of the seven new districts on December 8, 2016 ? Does the UNC really believe that it is feasible and practical to roll back the district creation stand and go back to the status quo, that is before the new districts were created ? The BJP led Government must surely know what the repercussions could be like if the decision to create the new districts is rolled back. The backlash can be more than ugly and it can even jolt the BJP led Government, given the fact that it is a coalition Government and some of the Ministers in the coalition Government come from the newly created districts.
What is the way forward ? Or rather which direction will the tripartite talks head towards ? Can there be a meeting point somewhere in the near future or will the meetings continue endlessly without making any progress ? The UNC too must have mulled over this question but in making the Government come to the table and participate in the tripartite talks, it has already scored a point or two and this is what is significant. For the Government it is a no win situation, but the important thing is to ensure that the situation does not go from a no win situation to something worse. This bare fact must have registered in the mind of the UNC too but the talks that have been held so far should result in something tangible for the Naga people who the UNC claims to represent. So what does the UNC hope to receive from the ongoing talks ? This is an important question and it is precisely because of this that the media in Manipur has been taking extra interest in covering the talks whenever it was held. The situation cannot be comfortable for the Chief Minister by any stretch of the imagination, but then such a situation is part of the baggage that comes along with being the first among equals. This is also an indication that the issues surrounding the creation of the seven districts are far from over and if not handled right, things can take a turn that no one would like. Perhaps this may just be the first real challenge before the BJP Chief Minister.

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