Where would Manipur be 5 years hence ? Questions before the vote

Be very clear about this. The choice you make today will impact on your lives for the next five years. It is much more than merely punching a button on the Electronic Voting Machine but is about deciding how one wants to see one’s life five years down the line. So who among the candidates can steer the place and the people to greater heights after five years. Or should Manipur be the place of 2022 when the next election comes around in 2027 or should it have moved along with the demands of the time ? Where does corruption figure in the consciousness of the people and the candidates who have thrown their hat into the ring ? Fighting corruption should start from the moment one lines up in front of the voting booth. Not such a tough task at all, but then again one will need to answer why money and muscle power play such an important role in every election. Would you have allowed your palms to be greased if you were in a position to maintain a certain standard of living ? Would you have allowed the moneyed candidates to cater to your immediate financial need if you were financially independent ? And who is responsible for keeping you financially dependent on some benefactors all these years ? These are questions which the voters would need to ask themselves even as they line up to cast their vote today, that is March 28. Keeping the people poor or not financially well off can be said to be the failure of the Government year after year but the tragedy is, no one seems to have raised this point. The candidates too have not raised this point for it serves a purpose-their purpose of buying votes. Quite a large number of candidates and an equally large number of conscientious people have been talking against the growing culture of enticing voters with money and promises, but has anyone raised the question of why people are in such a position to be swayed by the use of some green bucks ? This is a question which everyone should be raising today and most importantly before they cast their votes. Who benefits from keeping the people poor or not self sufficient ? The answer should not be too far to seek, for what one needs is a sincere look at the reality and then come to a conclusion. Sad but true it is for there are elements who stand to gain by keeping the people not self sufficient.
This is a point which The Sangai Express has already touched upon many times in this column, and this is where it becomes important for all to question why majority of the candidates have so far not talked against corruption. Why is it that corruption has never been a key issue in any election that Manipur has seen so far. Everyone talks about it but this issue is forgotten the moment election comes near and this is what exactly Manipur is facing right now. Amid the pin drop silence or a conspiracy of silence, one name that stands out prominently is the owner of  The Sangai Express Nishikant Singh Sapam, an Independent candidate in the fray from Keishamthong Assembly Constituency, who has on more than one occasion made his stand clear against corruption. This is what Manipur needs at the moment and it is a shame that such a strong stand against corruption has not caught the attention of the State Government and other political parties which have huge resources at their disposal. What is the stand of the BJP and its partners in Government on corruption ? What is the stand of the Congress on this ? Why hasn’t this issue occupied any space in the election manifesto of the big two ? The same question stands in front of the other political parties, notably the NPP, NPF and the JD (U). Let the voters decide who to vote for by raising certain fundamental questions, such as corruption, the vision of the candidate concerned, where they would like to see Manipur five years hence and what is it that they expect from their elected representative. These questions should help the voters decide. Choose well and vote well for this is about the next five years.