Sending stock of BJP risingFourth from Manipur
The timing is perfect. With just one induction, the stock of the BJP has risen hundred fold and coming as it has just before the next Assembly elections in the early part of 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered a near perfect ball to rattle the stumps of the Congress. Dr RK Ranjan is now in the Council of Ministers and making his rise to the Ministry all that more remarkable is the fact that he is only the fourth person from Manipur to be named a Union Minister, after the late RK Jaichandra, Meijinlung Kamson and Th Chaoba. In a way The Sangai Express also feels vindicated in the sense that the induction of RK Ranjan in the Council of Ministers has come just a few days after Free Thinker in the column Poking Nose Without Malice had raised a very pertinent point with the write up under the title, ‘Why not a Union Minister for us’ on June 27. Killing more than two birds with one stone, one may add, for apart from sending the stock of the BJP soaring ahead of the next Assembly elections, the move will also go a long way in addressing the ‘neglected’ for long by New Delhi line to a certain extent. Take a look at the facts. Ever since the first Parliamentary elections of 1951-52, Manipur has had only four Union Ministers and perhaps the induction of RK Ranjan in the Council of Ministers should give the right push for political leaders of different parties to seriously study whether primacy should only be given to the number of MPs a State sends to the Lok Sabha or whether it should also be about a more balanced presence in the Union Council of Ministers. This approach is called for urgently and can go a long way in addressing regional disparities. Now that RK Ranjan has been inducted in the Ministry, the next question obviously is what the people can expect from his new found position for the fact remains whether he is just an MP or a Minister, he represents the people of Manipur in Parliament.
This is also perhaps the time for all political leaders of Manipur to seriously question why they cannot play a bigger role beyond Manipur. Why not build an aura such that their presence can be felt in the North Eastern States. A role which was expertly donned by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma when the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), was formed some time back. Which among the present political leaders have it in them to have a meaningful say in the neighbouring States ? Manipur has already seen how Nagaland Chief Minister Nephiu Rio, when he was with the Naga People’s Front, turned out to be a star campaigner for the party during the 2012 Assembly elections here. An example which should not have blown over the heads of the political leaders of Manipur. RK Ranjan should also take the new found position and the confidence he enjoys from the leadership of the BJP to see if he can spread his wings beyond Manipur as a political leader. As Minister he would be representing the portfolio he is awarded with, but as a political leader he will need to study how his presence can go beyond Manipur and for this, he would obviously need good counsels from his supporters. Build a strong team, is a suggestion that comes to mind and reach out to other parts of the country and not be content with having a say only in Manipur. The Sangai Express joins the people in congratulating Dr RK Ranjan.