2022: A Glory for Olympians
The year 2021 would best be remembered for Manipur's Olympic glory, but with the arrival of Omicron, the state government has banned public gatherings, musical concerts, thabal chongba and celebratory feasts. Let us ban election rallies also as we bid goodbye to the year 2021.
Updated on 1 Jan 2022, 4:20 pm
(File Photo: IFP)
The year 2021 would best be remembered for the Olympic glory weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and hockey players Sanglakpam Nilakanta and Pukhrambam Chanu Sushila brought for the state and the country.
On the first day of the Tokyo Olympics, Mirabai ended a 21-year wait for the country by winning a silver medal while the Indian hockey team with Nilakanta won the bronze medal after defeating Germany. The women hockey squad finished 4th, which was also quite a feat. Manipuri players had won medals in many other disciplines but Tokyo Olympics will also remain the crowning glory of Manipur sports. As usual, the Indian Super League continues to be dominated by Manipuri footballers with over 40 players playing in different premier clubs across the country. Star footballer Oinam Bembem Devi was honoured with the Padmashri award.
On the political front, Chief Minister N Biren Singh was able to breathe a sigh of relief and settle down after four years of political instability and internal dissension rocking the administration. With the blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the nagging allies and dissenters within the party had cooled down somewhat.
The threat of disqualification hanging on the necks of 12 ruling party MLAs, who were once appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries, have finally been settled in their favour by the apex court.
An achievement of sorts is the appointment of Manipur Lok Sabha MP Rajkumar Ranjan Singh as the Minister of State for External Affairs and Education in the Narendra Modi cabinet. Although Manipur have had Union Ministers of State in the past, none had been given crucial portfolios like External Affairs and Education. And MoS Ranjan is doing quite well.
The BJP received a shot in the arm with state Congress chief Govindas Konthoujam and Minister Letpao Haokip from ally National Peoples Party (NPP) joining the party. Who knows how many others are in the line to join the party of choice in the year 2022?
The ruling party is now flooded with intending candidates in every constituency as it aims for a 40 plus majority in the 60 member assembly.However, the party’s ultimate choice for the ticket will decide whether it is going to be a make or break situation for the party as the rejected candidates go to other parties like NPP who is preparing to make the kingmaker.
In the run-up to the 2022 assembly elections, all that is lacking now is the announcement of a CM face for the party. While some hopefuls are banking on the recent Assam model of not announcing a CM face before and Sarbananda Sonowal’s deputy Himanta Biswa Sharma becoming the Chief Minister, the current mood of the party leadership combined with the utterings of party observers at meetings hints at N Biren Singh continuing as leader.
Even BJP national president JP Nadda himself had hinted in his address at the Kakching Youth rally about N Biren Singh returning as CM again, just short of announcing him as the CM face. But, BJP’s campaign so far had been focusing on the achievements of Biren Singh and his innovative ventures like Go to Hills or Go to Village mission. Well, we have to wait for PM Modi’s visit to be certain whether there is going to be a CM face or not in the 2022 race.
It so happened that the Omicron variant had to arrive in the state of Manipur at the end of the year and it is the beginning to cause panic among the general population even to the extent of the state government announcing a ban on public gatherings, musical concerts, thabal chongba and celebratory feasts. So, we can do away with picnics of the New Year also. But for the sake of uniformity, let us ban election rallies also as we bid goodbye to the year 2021.