Why no action against errant members ? Notable absence
Was not a shocker. Not something out of the blue. Also gives a lie to the alibi that coming to Imphal is not desirable for the Kuki-Chin MLAs. The venue was Ukhrul, a place which has remained neutral in the ongoing clash between the Meiteis and the Kukis for over 150 days but yet again the two Kuki MLAs who have been inducted in the Council of Ministers decided to stay away from the Cabinet meeting held at Ukhrul district headquarters on October 18. The decision to stay away from the Cabinet meeting may be understood against the backdrop of the Separate Administration call that has been raised, the writs of organisations such as the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum, the Committee on Tribal Unity and the Kuki Inpi, Manipur and the fact that a final say on the ongoing clash is yet be said. No doubt these are the reasons for the two Kuki Ministers to stay away from the Cabinet meeting but the question of bigger importance is the indecision on the status of the ten Kuki-Chin MLAs so far. A question that may also be raised on the face of the State unit of the BJP. Can A Sharda Devi and company who head the State BJP unit answer this question ? Is the BJP led Government ready to answer this question ? No answer is expected, but doesn’t this amount to striking a posture that loudly proclaims, ‘We do not care about what the people think’. Or is it a case of the BJP led Government and the party itself being reduced to such a pathetic state that it cannot take up any action against its erring members ? Why has the Manipur Legislative Assembly not taken up any action against them ? What about the BJP as a political party ? What about the BJP led Government ? Only those at the helm can answer these questions but it should not be forgotten that these very questions are being raised everywhere by the people who matter, the same set of people who handed the reins of power to the BJP. Or is it a case of the matter not being discussed at any level till date ? Either way it does not cast the Government in any good light and this is certainly not what the doctor would prescribe to deal with the situation. Or if the two Kuki Ministers no longer identify with the current Ministry then why still cling to the Ministerial berths ? Things cannot get more cheap than this.
The guns may have gone silent at the foothills, save for the brief shoot outs now and then, but this should not mean that Manipur has started walking the road to normalcy. No Meitei would feel safe to take the road to go to Guwahati as it will have to pass through Motbung and Kangpokpi. No Meitei would feel safe to proceed beyond Moirang on the western side and or even go up to Pallel. And obviously no one from the Kuki-Chin community would feel safe to come to Imphal to catch a flight or any of the district headquarters in the valley. This is the situation, a reality that speaks a thousand words and making things worse is the BJP Government continuing to tolerate seven of its errant MLAs. Seven that is after counting out the three MLAs who were elected as candidates of the KPA and JD (U). To help take Manipur to the road of recovery and normalcy, the first task should be to demonstrate that there is a strong Government in Imphal. A Government which is in control. However when the message is conveyed that it cannot even take the needed action against its errant members then the faith and confidence of the people will stand severely eroded. This is what is happening right now. This is the time that the Government should be trying to make capital out of the findings of the CBI and the NIA which have implicated SoO outfits and pile on the needed pressure to revoke the peace pact. The latest such case is obviously the seizure of drugs from the possession of the commander of the United Tribal Liberation Army. The BJP has the number at its disposal, thanks to the mandate it received at the 2022 Assembly elections and now is the time to use its numerical strength to help the cause of Manipur.