Art of running a coalition Govt
Peeved NPF hitting out
The art of running a coalition Government and perhaps no one will understand the need to fine tune this art to ensure that nothing rocks the coalition boat. As the captain of the coalition Government, Chief Minister N Biren must surely understand this more so given the fact that the BJP has had to sup with political parties with which it may not see eye to eye on matters which it deems to be crucial to the State. On the other hand, it also stands true that the Naga People’s Front, which is a partner in the coalition Government has every right to feel slighted given that it has been seemingly sidelined with none of its men nominated as associate members in the Delimitation Commission, which the Speaker of the Assembly is empowered to do so. Even the Congress, which is understood as the Opposition in the 60 member Assembly, has one MLA in the Delimitation Commission and this is something which would not have gone down well with the NPF at all. Remember it was the Congress led Government which strongly stood against any delimitation exercise to be carried out on the basis of the 2001 census. Leaving aside the contention over the 2001 census, which undoubtedly saw some abnormally high growth rate in some sub-divisions which all fall in areas where the Nagas are in absolute majority, it is significant to note that a coalition partner in the BJP led Government has deemed it fit to come out strongly against what it feels is being purposely slighted. How the BJP deals with the new development will be interesting to watch, but remember the proposal to conduct a delimitation exercise on the contentious 2001 census has been strongly opposed by almost all the political parties in the State.
It is also significant to note that the NPF has not stopped at merely letting known their disappointment to the Assembly Speaker and the Chief Minister of Manipur, but the report itself has made it to The Sangai Express which in other words means that it is now out there on the public domain. Strong indications that once the coronavirus induced state of uncertainty blows over, one can expect to see the debate on the delimitation proposal gaining momentum and as repeated earlier here on more than one occasion, one cannot help but note the far sighted hand behind the ‘abnormal’ increase in the population of some sub-divisions in the hill districts. ‘Engineered’ or otherwise, increase in the population in some areas obviously points to the bigger picture of overhauling the composition in the State Assembly, which at present has 60 seats, with forty unreserved or in the valley area and 20 in the reserved category. Once the delimitation exercise is effected it could mean more seats falling in the reserved category and lesser seats in the unreserved category. The equation then becomes clearer here. It could mean giving more representation to a group of people in the Assembly and hence more say in the affairs of the State and this could probably work to the advantage of some section of people. Imagine thinking this out way back in 2001 and this is where one need to acknowledge the far sighted mind at work here. Or if the population growth in some sub-divisions is perfectly normal, then it would be interesting to see the population strength of these sub-divisions when the next census exercise is taken up in 2021.