Pact With NSCN-IM a Hid­den Vol­cano

Ma­nipur CM con­fi­dent of an­other Congress win; says BJP has no roots in state and has no obli­ga­tion to peo­ple

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Ma­nipur chief min­is­ter Okram Ibobi Singh is con­fi­dent of a fourth con­sec­u­tive win for the Congress in the assem­bly polls to the state. In an in­ter­view to Bikash Singh, the CM said that the Frame­work Agree­ment inked be­tween the Cen­tre and the NSCN-IM was a ‘dor­mant vol­cano’. Ex­cerpts:

How cru­cial it is for the Congress to win the Ma­nipur elec­tions? The po­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics in our neigh­bour­ing states can­not be equated with the sim­ple and com­plex is­sues pre­vail­ing in Ma­nipur. The assem­bly elec­tions in Ma­nipur will give a clear and sim­ple mes­sage to BJP: Its in­her­ent med­dle­some po­lit­i­cal ma­noeu­vres will be thwarted by the peo­ple of Ma­nipur. When Congress work­ers were con­fined to their re­spec­tive camps in the last assem­bly elec­tions, af­ter a threat from in­sur­gents, many me­dia pun­dits said that the Congress would be wiped out. How­ever, the peo­ple elected 42 can­di­dates of the Congress by com­fort­able mar­gins to the 60-mem­ber assem­bly, while many party can­di­dates lost only by a few votes.

Is BJP a strong con­tender this time? It is a root­less party in Ma­nipur. That the party emerged with a doc­u­ment vi­sion only just be­fore the elec­tions in­di­cates that it has no grass­roots or peo­ple-ori­ented agenda. They do not have a re­spon­si­bil­ity, they have no obli­ga­tion to the peo­ple. It is a party that has no spine to place on record a man­i­festo to the peo­ple of Ma­nipur. The peo­ple of Ma­nipur are not go­ing to be swayed by any false dream and pro­pa­ganda.

What is your re­ac­tion to BJP’s ac­cu­sa­tion that you have di­vided Ma­nipur by cre­at­ing seven new dis­tricts? There are some dis­tricts in Ma­nipur with head­quar­ter lo­cated so far away that it takes two days to reach them. One has to make this long jour­ney through moun­tain­ous ter­rain even to get an information or for an of­fi­cial doc­u­ment. The cre­ation of new dis­tricts was long over­due and was purely for ad­min­is­tra­tive con­ve­nience. The ad­di­tional seven new dis­tricts have noth­ing to do with any par­tic­u­lar com­mu­nity. All the dis­tricts in Ma­nipur are in­hab­ited by dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties and they are not sole prop­erty of any com­mu­nity. The de­mand for cre­ation of new dis­tricts is an old one. We have done some­thing which no other gov­ern­ment has been able to do. Peo­ple of both hill and val­ley celebrated the de­ci­sion.

ON DY­NAM­ICS The po­lit­i­cal dy­nam­ics in our neigh­bour­ing states can’t be equated with sim­ple & com­plex is­sues pre­vail­ing in Ma­nipur

How many seats do you es­ti­mate the Congress to win? The po­lit­i­cal con­scious­ness and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the peo­ple of Ma­nipur in the demo­cratic and elec­tion­eer­ing process, al­to­gether can­not be an­a­lysed from one an­gle. Me­dia pun­dits openly con­fessed through their col­umns, last time, they com­mit­ted hari-kari by say­ing that Congress will never come to power. We were en­trusted with the re­spon­si­bil­ity to per­form with a clear man­date. We will gra­ciously ac­cept the ver­dict of the peo­ple. We will ab­so­lutely get a clear ma­jor­ity.

ON NEW STATES The cre­ation of new dis­tricts was long over­due and was purely for ad­min­is­tra­tive con­ve­nience

Will you ask Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to re­veal the con­tents of the frame­work agree­ment be­tween NSCN -IM and the Cen­tre when he reaches here for cam­paign­ing? The BJP gov­ern­ment has not been able to spell out the con­tents of the frame­work agree­ment for rea­sons best known to it alone. The du­plic­ity and the mys­tery of the un­der­stand­ing be­tween the BJP gov­ern­ment and NSCN-IM are kept a se­cret. It's for the peo­ple of Ma­nipur to de­cide and make a judgment on a party that al­most de­stroyed a state by an­nounc­ing 'cease­fire with­out ter­ri­to­rial lim­its.’ The hid­den un­der­stand­ing in the agree­ment is a dor­mant vol­cano.

ARINDAM

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