Promising what people want to hear Looking back to 2017
None of the political parties have fallen short of stating what they presume is what people would want to hear and that is definitely what the election manifestoes of the political parties, which have so far been issued, done. Nothing surprising and like so much of what political parties say and what they actually do, especially before an election, the onus is on the people, the laymen but who get to decide which party should rule the State for the next five years, decide what are the promises that are feasible and what are not. Like in the Assembly election of 2017, the BJP this time too has come out with assurances, which all sound very enticing to the people. It is now up to the people to decide on what has been promised this time. This is where a look back at what the BJP promised in its 2017 election manifesto is in line. Five years back the saffron party did promise piped drinking water to every household. This was back in 2017 and people do know where Manipur stands as far as piped drinking water supply is concerned today. Is there the need to say anything more ? Free education of women till graduation was another promising assurance given by the saffron party back in 2017 and everyone knows where this assurance stands today. The more interesting question is whether the BJP did come to power on the basis of these promises in 2017 or was it something else ? This brings all back to the question of whether people vote according to the election manifesto churned out by each political party after every five years or before any Assembly election here or not. Despite this question, election manifesto is indispensable to all political parties and it is along this line that the State BJP unit has this time too come out with its election manifesto and the promises certainly look enticing and reassuring. Tough to say whether it is going one step back or taking one step forward but from the ‘free education to women till graduation’ promise of 2017, the saffron party has moved on to ‘free scooty to all meritorious college going girls of the State’ this time. It is best left to the people on whether to take this at face value or not. Free laptops to all meritorious students passing Class 12th is another promise that has been given by the party, if voted to power and one can certainly see a strong thrust being made for the hard working students of the State.
These are but some of the points which stand out and now is the best time to decide whether these promises will be followed or not. One point that is however conspicuously missing in the manifesto of the BJP is the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This absence is significant, but this should not mean that the State BJP leaders are indifferent to the popular demand of the people. An issue which has come from the brutalised and victimised people of Manipur and the North East region should not be politically exploited, is a line that comes to mind here. Silence is perhaps better here for there can be nothing more despicable than for any entity to take political milestone out of an issue as sentimental and dear to the conscience of the people than the dreaded Army Act. In just a short while from now, the people will line up to cast their vote and this is where it would be prudent for everyone to remember that in deciding who to cast their vote for, they would not only be deciding the fate of the candidates in the fray but also their own fate for the next five years. This is a point that should not be lost and yes whether one places that much importance on the election manifestoes of the different political parties or not, it would help for the people to at least note down the points promised, for it is from these assurances that questions may well be raised whichever political party comes to form the Government after the election.