Racing towards Goonda Raj ? Pre-poll violence
Goonda Raj ? Is this what the scheduled 2022 Assembly election is fast racing towards ? Is this how the scheduled election will be remembered, say ten or fifteen years down the line ? Not something to gloat over but already three Assembly Constituencies have made it to the list of infamy, in so far as pre-poll violence is concerned so much so that the District Magistrate of Imphal East has been constrained to issue prohibitory orders under CrPC 144 of the Indian Penal Code in at least three locations in Andro Assembly Constituency. No such order has been issued yet but the people have already witnessed some ugly scenes at Singjamei Assembly Constituency and Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Assembly Constituency in the last couple of days and this does not exactly sit pretty on a Government which has gone to town proclaiming that law and order situation has seen a marked improvement ever since the BJP led Government came to power after the 2017 Assembly elections. This is the unsavoury fact that the State Government has to digest and not sweep aside. Unsavoury incidents have this uncanny knack of having a trickle down effect and if right course of action is not taken up right now, there is no guarantee that it will not spread to the other Assembly Constituencies. Save for some individuals who were initially booked at Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Assembly Constituency, there has been no report of anyone being pulled up for the rowdy scenes in full public view at Singjamei Assembly Constituency or at Andro AC. The spent cartridges as well as one live bullet found at Andro Assembly Constituency should more than say that there are guns and there are people who will not hesitate to use the guns, either to intimidate or even maim, to convey a poll related message and this is something which should not be taken lightly. Or will it be a question of political interests taking precedence over propriety and what the law allows and does not allow ? Time for the Government to act or else the script that is unravelling right in front of everyone now may just get out of hand and no one will like it, least of all the Government.
The over enthusiastic supporters need to be reminded that what is being played out on the public domain is not celluloid stuff. The people are not the thrill seeking, front benchers in a movie hall, whistling each time the gun is fired in a typical Bollywood masala film. This is real life and not reel play. This fact should not be lost on anyone and lest the over enthusiastic supporters forget, there is no guarantee that the candidate for whom they are ready to kill will remember them once they get to rub shoulders with all the other elected members of the House and are exposed to the glitz and pelf that comes along with the title, MLA. Get this clear. It is the mindset of these hoodlums that need some drastic course correction. Intending candidates on their part too should come to the point that they are working to seek the mandate of the people not on the plank of violence but on other high sounding fundas such as development and to come anywhere near this they need to demonstrate that they have it in them to control their supporters. Letting loose their supporters under the false belief that they are doing it out of loyalty would be highly misplaced and this is not what is expected from someone who is seeking the people’s blessings to become an elected leader. Time for all to come to their senses.