It is definitely not intentional, but by imposing the economic blockade the United Naga Council (UNC) and the NSCN (IM) may be said to have unwittingly given a huge boost to the poll prospects of the Congress and Chief Minister O Ibobi. Much before the seven new districts were created on December 8, the UNC went ahead and imposed the economic blockade from November 1, pitching the people directly against each other. Some may read this equation as playing the divide and rule policy, but the fact stands that the coming 2017 Assembly election will see a deeply polarised voting pattern with Chief Minister O Ibobi seemingly set to reap the dividends. So from an issue which initially pitted two hill tribes, that is the Nagas and the Kukis, over the question of district status to Sadar Hills (Kangpokpi today), today it has morphed into a confrontation between the Nagas and the Meiteis, triggered by the ongoing economic blockade. An observation strengthened by the statement from the NSCN (IM) and the Joint Naga Civil Societies, Delhi, wherein the Chief Minister has been pointedly accused to trying to please the Meitei community against the interest of the Naga people. From here it may be inferred that the more the Chief Minister is accused of compromising the interest of the Naga people, the more favour he will find in the valley of Manipur and amongst the Kukis too. And as things stand today, the Congress which stood boycotted in Sadar Hills (Kangpokpi district) finds takers with everyone there and in all probability the party will reap rich dividend, with three Assembly segments falling within this district.
Ironically this is not the first time that the NSCN (IM) has unwittingly brightened the prospect of the man from Thoubal Assembly Constituency. Rewind to 2009 and the whole State was up in arms against the Congress Government and the Chief Minister following the killing of Th Rabina and Ch Sanjit at BT Road, but somehow this was relegated to the background, when NSCN (IM) leader Th Muivah tried to enter Manipur in 2010. The stand taken by the Chief Minister against the aborted attempt to enter Manipur was again taken well by the people in the valley area and an incident which could have derailed the State Government was averted. Fortune smiling on the Chief Minister or Ibobi knowing when to politically exploit a situation ? Then again just before the 2012 Assembly election was held, there was the marathonesque blockade imposed by the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee followed by another blockade by the UNC and this did yield electoral results in that the Congress won 42 seats in the Assembly election. Strange is the way politics play out, but in the present scenario, the stand taken against the decision of the State Government seems to have strengthened the hands of the Chief Minister and the Congress just before the 2017 Assembly election.
Source: The Sangai Express