BJP campaign in Ibobi country
IFP Editorial: Whatever the BJP party leaders say, the Go to Village mission is the focus of BJP this time and it is set to roll on before the final announcement of the assembly polls.
Updated on 2 Nov 2021, 8:59 pm
Go to Village 2.0 at Thoubal (PHOTO: Facebook)
The BJP, it seems, has cleared the deck for the 2022 election campaign. Its singular focus is going to be on the ‘Go to Village’ mission, the brainchild of Chief Minister N Biren Singh initiated by him to ensure the reach of governance and service delivery of government schemes to the general population up to the village level. The other popular initiative ‘Go to Hills’ is a no-go mission this time as it is facing protests from several Naga civil society groups on the issue of the Autonomous District Council amendment bill as proposed by the Hill Areas Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. Despite protests, ‘Go to Hills’ campaign was held in the districts of Chandel, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, Tamenglong and lastly Senapati district at Maram Khullen. But, it was met with a tragedy in Tamenglong district when one of its most vocal supporters Athuan Abonmei was abducted from a function site and brutally murdered by suspected NSCN (I-M) elements. While the proposed campaign at Senapati district headquarters was met with resistance and a bandh, Ukhrul district CSOs are still to give a go-ahead to the campaign. So now, the BJP campaign is more or less directed at the Go to Village mission as it aims to hold public service delivery camps in all the 16 districts of the state in which 4.51 Lakh households will be covered in 50 days. This initiative will extend essential public service benefits of various State and Central government schemes to the doorstep of all the citizens of Manipur.
The second edition of the Go to Village mission was on Tuesday kick-started at Thoubal Moijing in the heartland of Thoubal constituency, the stronghold of Congress leader and former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. During the programme, Chief Minister N Biren Singh distributed assistances under various schemes including smartphones under CM e-Support Scheme, textbooks, uniforms, sports equipments under Education Department, Manipur Start Up Scheme, Cards under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) and Chief Minister-gi Hakshelgi Tengbang (CMHT), Widows’ Pension Scheme, Pension, aid and appliances for physically challenged, Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) and Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) among others. In the first edition, around 2,669 villages were covered and it is set to reach as many villages as it can under the Go to Village 2.0. Stalls of different Government Departments and Banks had been set up at the playground to provide assistance to the people of Moijing under the mission. The stalls will remain open for three days i.e. on 2nd, 3rd and 5th November, 2021. A tentative programme of the mission has been chalked out for the districts Imphal East, Imphal West, Kakching, Bishnupur and Jiribam till date.
Whatever the BJP party leaders say, the Go to Village mission is the focus of BJP this time and it is set to roll on before the final announcement of the assembly polls. Union Environment Minister and in charge of Manipur 2022 elections Bhupendra Yadav had earlier said that the party’s strategy for the ensuing assembly elections will be on the development agenda and they are looking for a two-third majority in the assembly. Yet, it understands that door-step service delivery of schemes and benefits including Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) could be a winner as the party makes its final lap to the finishing line. On the other hand, the opposition Congress has no answer to the Go to Village initiative and it is mainly banking on the wavering stance of BJP with regard to Manipur’s territorial integrity, its authoritarian attitude towards dissenters and criticism, utter disregard of parliamentary traditions and norms towards defectors, and above all its lack of commitment to the demand for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Of course, BJP brings up the ILP wagon now and then to soothe public emotions.