We sometimes wonder what is in New Delhi that our MLAs should be going to and fro often while some have temporarily shifted their base there. Of course, the BJP leadership is based in New Delhi, the capital city and power-mongers go on regular pilgrimage there to meet and lobby with the different layers of the BJP and the RSS leadership for either airing their grievances or for political deliverance and patronage.
When the BJP first came to power in 2017 in the state of Manipur, state BJP leaders used to say that there was no such thing as High Command culture in the BJP like that of the Congress. But now, things are becoming clearer. Whatever they say, the buck stops at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Even the party president JP Nadda had been relegated in a position below the two leaders. Both the ministers and the organisational leadership all bow down to the twin leadership.
If Prime Minister Modi is on a foreign tour or otherwise busy in other matters like electioneering, Home Minister Amit Shah is always available for consultation. If Amit Shah is somehow busy which rarely happens, everything gets delayed and one has to wait.
As Manipur turned into a war-zone due to the ethnic strife, we had to wait for a month for the Home Minister to personally come down and physically assess the situation. That such a busy person camped in Manipur for three full days was severely emphasised by the state BJP leadership here. But, everyone kept mum on the failure of his mission of bringing peace and ushering a state of normalcy in the state.
Ever since the ethnic strife started on May 3, our MLAs had been going to New Delhi often. The Kuki MLAs had gone there to tell the central BJP leadership that they can no longer live together with the Meiteis and that they want a separate administration for Kuki-Chin fraternity to be carved out of Manipur for them ‘to live in peace’ as they say.
After that, the valley-based MLAs, including the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues went to New Delhi. Upon return to Imphal, they said Home Minister Amit Shah had given them an assurance that the territorial integrity of Manipur would remain intact. The threat to Manipur’s territorial integrity and Centre’s assurance of commitment towards continued upkeep of the said integrity had somehow become an old wive's tale here, as we asserted earlier.
The people of Manipur had been looking for concrete steps towards an all-time solution and not assurances. One such step was the amendment of Article 3 of the Indian Constitution by inserting a proviso that any change in the boundary of Manipur shall require the concurrence of the Manipur Legislative Assembly and land and resources of Manipur shall vest in the state.
The Naga MLAs had also gone to New Delhi. But, their agenda was different. Their assertion to New Delhi was that in the event of any solution or political arrangement Naga territories should not be touched. They came back via Dimapur and made the announcement. All the while, the fact that three trajectories had emerged within the territory of Manipur had been kept aside as understood.
In early June, the valley MLAs again went to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi who shunned them and they had to content with meeting Home Minister Amit Shah. The same assurance of keeping Manipur’s territorial integrity intact was given again and they came back dejected. This time, as a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi-led government is being discussed, they are going there. We wonder what it is this time.
Did they receive any green signal of the Prime Minister meeting them this time or is it of just showing their faces to the central leadership. In fact, it is a waste of time and money. They should instead be here in Manipur holding hands with the constituents and the general public on the evolving situation. For those who are seeking a change of leadership, it is different. They have a personal agenda, for which the judgment day will come.
READ MORE: IFP EDITORIAL