We know everyone expects us to say something about ‘the excuse of a session’ held on Tuesday. But seriously, what is there is to say despite a feeling of utter dejection, disappointment and a loathing of the moves on the political chessboard, that too at the cost of several lives and homes. The signs of the fourth session of the twelfth Manipur Legislative Assembly failing to keep up with the expectations of the general public has already been there in the reckoning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s obsession in elections without a care for the lives and property of common people, Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s lip-service to the crisis and double-talk whose sole objective was to keep the BJP government running on fumes despite failure on every front from governance to real-time peace efforts, Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s deemed ‘popularity’ and his keen desire to dabble in street politics besides keeping his chair at all costs with an long-standing internal dissent to oust him from within the BJP ranks, MLAs whose only prayer is to stay relevant and a hatred for anyone speaking about President’s Rule in the state, the disarrayed response from the different CSOs each of them claiming to speak for the common people dragging along the masses in whatever direction they want, political opportunists and aspiring candidates out to stay in the limelight, and above all a weak opposition and compliant pretenders of rag-tag political parties, all these factors had contributed to the failure of the Tuesday session of the Manipur Legislative assembly. We wonder whether they really understand the fury and frustration of the general public and someday they might even become targets of the public anger. So, take heed.
Looking back, the recent decision to hold a one-day session for the fourth session of the twelfth Manipur Legislative assembly is not only disappointing but an insult to the general population of the state.
It is not a normal session as such. Manipur has been burning for about four months due to the present ethnic strife between the Kukis and Meiteis without a solution in sight.
The general public had been demanding a special session of the assembly to discuss the issues involved in the strife and try working out solutions. Earlier, the State Cabinet had, on August 4, recommended to the Governor of Manipur for summoning the 4th session of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 21.
However, it could not materialise as both Kuki and Naga MLAs had declared their intent to boycott the session while the opposition is preparing to tear apart the government on inaction, policy paralysis and the twilight zone created by ‘Article 355’ from which the government is functioning.
At last, the state Cabinet took a decision to convene the much awaited Manipur Legislative Assembly monsoon session on August 29, to avoid a constitutional crisis. And the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) decided on a single day session, albeit with a dissenting note from the opposition leader O Ibobi of Congress. As if on cue, the much-awaited assembly session was wrapped up in 11 minutes with the Chief Minister bulldozing any attempt to raise the ongoing crisis as an agenda with the opposition Congress MLAs shouting hoarse in protestation.
While the Congress later raised a black flag in their office complex, BJP ministers charged the opposition of scuttling the session. Yet nobody bothers to answer the question lurking in the minds of many as to why the Tuesday session failed to deliver even a sliver of hope for the state.
It was known that the Kuki MLAs would not attend the session on one excuse or another, while that of Naga MLAs participating in the session remains a mystery. Earlier, the Naga MLAs were also asked to abstain from attending the session and the stance changed later on. The details were not leaked in the open. So, what is the deal?
Read More: IFP Editorial