Numbers bandied about by pol parties Interesting tall talks
Confidence booster. Shooting in the dark. Or plain tall talks with no substance. This and so many others can be read into the loud proclamations by different political parties ahead of the Assembly election and one is left wondering if such an approach will yield the expected dividends or not. Ultimately it is all about numbers, if one goes by the loud proclamations from the different political parties which have gone ahead to woo voters across the 60 Assembly segments. The BJP has been leading from the front with its prominent leaders, particularly Chief Minister N Biren and State unit president of the saffron party A Sharda Devi proclaiming that the BJP has it in them to bag 40 seats and above in the 60 member Assembly. Its present partner in Government, the NPP has not been left behind, with Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar first proclaiming that the party will head the next Government and its chief Conrad Sangma following this up with the loud proclamation that the NPP will emerge the single largest party after the election. The Congress too has not been found wanting with its leaders here predicting that the party will score comfortably to be in a position to lead the next coalition. The Shiv Sena has been ‘more modest’ with its State unit president not toeing the ‘single largest’ political party line, but nonetheless asserting that the party will win in some seats thereby emerging as an important player in Government formation. Clear that all political parties want to send out a positive vibe to its supporters and nothing wrong with this, for political leaders are never known to toe lines that sound feasible or believable. This high sounding prognosis also definitely falls in line with the promises included in the poll manifestoes of all the major political parties. This is where one may ask what has happened to the promise of tap water supply in every household in Imphal enunciated by a political party before the Assembly election of 2017. It is also significant to note that while the Congress now seems or tries to appear as a party committed to the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, it did not move beyond having the Act removed from the municipal areas of Imphal following the massive protest after the ravaged and bullet riddled body of Th Manorama was discovered in 2004.
Apart from the fantastic numbers and claims espoused by different political parties in the run up to the Assembly election, what is it that the people want ? What has happened to the invitation to give inputs so that the same may be included in the election manifesto of the BJP ? One wonders whether any such input has been submitted or not and if no input has been forthcoming, wouldn’t it help if this is made known to the public ? It is rather late, but it would have helped that much more if only the different political parties had taken the trouble to ask the people what is it that they want instead of expecting the people to study their election manifesto and what they plan to do. One also wonders whether any of the pressure groups in the State had put forward their demand succinctly before the different political parties, so that the issue which they have raised can become crucial in the election. Has the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur and the World Meetei Council put forth their demand to the different political parties in the State ahead of the Assembly polls ? This question is relevant for telling the political parties what the people want is one important step to make the election and democracy more people inclusive. Time for people to set the agenda.