Creation of seven new districts. The ongoing economic blockade. These two issues will undoubtedly impact on the coming Assembly election and it is a tragedy that other issues which should be there on the agenda of the people will be pushed to the sideline. No doubt the creation of the seven new districts and the ongoing economic blockade have severely impacted on the lives of the common people, but how about the other agenda ? Aren’t there other issues which too have been equally, if not more, affecting the lives of the common people ? Why should these other agenda be pushed to the back burner ? It is this tendency to overlook the real issues which may be the real reason why the people continue to lead such a wretched existence. Irom Sharmila Chanu has stopped fasting and is now set to enter the electoral battlefield. The lady who fasted for 16 long years against the continued imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act has on more than one occasion stated that her fight continues and she is merely changing tact. The irony of the situation is, the people who seemed to strongly stand by her side when she was on a fast seem to have suddenly changed their mind, thereby ringing out the message that AFSPA will again be not on the agenda in the coming Assembly election. True, the State Government can do nothing to get the Army Act revoked from the State, but at least if this features prominently in the run up to the State Assembly election, the message will not be missed by Delhi.
Other than AFSPA, why have other issues which directly affect the lives of the people failed to feature on the agenda of the political parties ? What about water supply ? Why has this basic issue never been the calling card in any of the Assembly election that Manipur has witnessed ? What has the Congress Government done to ensure that tap water is supplied at least thrice to all the households in the leikais and leiraks ? How about the roads in Imphal ? Potholes have come to define all the roads and if this can happen in the capital of the State, the situation can only be imagined in other parts of the State. No doubt, power supply situation has improved tremendously in the last three/four years and the natural question that follows is if reforms can be initiated in the power sector, why not in other sectors such as water supply ? These are issues which should have grabbed the attention of the people and the political parties, but unfortunately the culture here is such that all these important issues have always been given a miss and they have never been able to influence the voting behaviour of the people. Time for the people to seriously think why no political party has deemed it fit to make these basic issues their electoral calling card.
Source: The Sangai Express