Visit of NaMo, RaGa one after the other Manipur in the eyes of Delhi

February 21, 2022-It was Rahul Gandhi. February 22, 2022-It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Thanks to the Assembly election scheduled on February 28 and March 5, Manipur is the destination of quite a number of political heavy weights drawn from the big two. The venues were different and the parties which they represent are different and it was amid these differences that the Congress party and those who had the opportunity to witness the two public meetings addressed by the two personalities have started drawing up comparisons-not so much on what either of the two leaders had to say to the people-but on how many people either managed to draw. As expected it did not take long for the Congress to loudly proclaim that the crowd which gathered to hear Rahul speak was way larger than the  one gathered to hear the Prime Minister speak ! It is not the case of The Sangai Express to say which of the two personalities drew the bigger crowd for there may not be too much to read into this, but it would be more significant to go into what either had to say. As expected, the Prime Minister was confidence personified and he underlined this point with the prediction that the BJP would retain power. The Gandhi scion on the other hand did not venture to predicting the outcome of the election, but urged the people to throw the BJP out to secure the future of Manipur ! All brave words indeed, but it would have made so much more sense if only the two leaders had touched on subjects which are dear and near to the hearts of the people. Moreover both seemed to prefer to stick to the rehashed lines of how much Manipur and her people mean to the BJP and the Congress and followed this up with tall promises and taking pot shots at each other. The Prime Minister and an important leader of the AICC were here, but what can Manipur expect from the high profile visit of the two personalities ? No easy answer here, for this was not the first time that top political leaders from New Delhi and elsewhere have come here to woo the voters and sell their respective party as the best option available to the people.
How much the visit of the two personalities would tilt the votes in favour of their respective parties is another point that will be hard to pin point. Has the stock of the Congress risen after the visit of Rahul Gandhi ? How about the stock of the BJP after the Prime Minister addressed the people ? Can any of the State leaders of either party give a satisfactory answer to this question ? On the other hand, would the position of either party be worse off if the two leaders had not visited Manipur ? The answer will lie at from which direction one looks at the poser. That New Delhi has taken the coming Assembly election with the seriousness it deserves has been amply demonstrated by either side, with a number of Union Ministers having already visited Manipur in the last few days. More will be in line in the days to come and quite a number of leaders of either party have been camping at Imphal for the last many days ahead of the Assembly election. This is what is significant and it is up to the people to decide whether to make the importance shown by New Delhi meaningful or not. Much have been talked about the ills of money power during election but this time too, one of the more popular talks doing the round is, ‘How much is being given in one AC and by whom ?’ and here is a sure shot formula to reduce the greatest exercise in a democracy to something of a joke. Maybe the craving or the mentality to be after money reflects the pitiable economic conditions of quite a large number of people and this is an issue which should have been studied by successive Governments a long time back. The argument here is simple. If everyone is self sufficient and manages to maintain a certain standard of living, then use of money power to lure the voters will be passe’. Why this bare fact has not been addressed to is a question worth exploring or could it be a case of ‘keeping the people poor benefits the politicians ?’