Manipur in the eyes of BJP, Cong NaMo, RaGa to be here

Destination Imphal. This is obviously on the menu of many heavy weights of both the BJP and the Congress and this is something welcome. A definite development from those days when any trip to the North East region or rather Manipur by political bigwigs from New Delhi was taken to be something of a foreign jaunt. This is not the time to recall or recount why the North East region and Manipur failed to register on the consciousness map of the political bigwigs of different political parties for decades, but it is today a welcome change to see such figures lining up to visit the State even if it is just for another Assembly election. Many positive things may be read into why leaders of different political parties have deemed  it fit to visit Manipur just as the Assembly election is approaching. This for one should underline the point that political developments or rather which political party heads the Government at Imphal matters to the overall political battle for supremacy between the different political parties, particularly to the BJP and the Congress. So New Delhi now looks with more interest on who is there at Heinou Makhong than ever before and this is all the more reason why political parties and political leaders here would need to be on their toes. The scheduled visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should definitely be seen along the line of the emerging importance of Manipur in the overall political map of the country. This much is clear and so a State which gets to send only two MPs to the Lok Sabha now has a place in the political scheme of things of New Delhi, but does Manipur exist in the consciousness of the political babus of New Delhi only when election is near ? This is a question that needs  a sincere and thorough study else it would not make sense if Manipur is forgotten the moment the election is over. Or is it a question of the battle of the turf between the BJP and the Congress spilling over onto the turf of Manipur too ? In other words would Manipur have figured high on the political consciousness of New Delhi if the ‘contest’ between the BJP and the Congress was not so tight ?
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi scheduled to address public meetings here in the next couple of days, it is obvious that while votes will be cast by the people of Manipur, that the next Chief Minister will be someone from Manipur, that the people here will decide which party should lead the next Government, the impact of the election result will be felt acutely at New Delhi too. This is all that more so since Parliament election is just two years away. So it is that nothing has been left to chance by either party. For the BJP, a number of high profile Union Ministers have already visited Manipur in the last couple of days with Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani taking pot shots at the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has already been here and so has Union Minister for Roads Nitin Gadkari. A number of Central BJP leaders are also stationed here at the moment to give that much needed shot in the arms of the saffron party. The Congress too has not been lagging behind and if Rahul Gandhi is expected to land here on February 21, former Minister and senior leader of the AICC Jairam Ramesh has been camping at Imphal for some time. A telling commentary that the big two are not taking the Assembly election easily and there is no reason why it should. Along with deputing its leaders here, this is also the time for the two parties to get a more detailed look at the ground reality and look back to 2017 and study whether Manipur has moved on the right track or not. For the BJP, it should start with first acknowledging that piped water supply to every household is still a promise, just a promise and for the Congress it should be clear that it was during its regime that AFSPA was extended here.