It is indeed sad that one of the oldest political parties based in Manipur should exist on paper only. Founded in 1968 by a group of breakaway dissidents from the Congress party, it later merged with the Kanglei League.
MPP had formed governments in the state in three different regimes 1972-73, 1974 and 1990-1992.
After attaining statehood, it formed the first-ever government with Md Alimuddin, a politician from the minority Meitei Pangals as the Chief Minister in 1972. Both the governments headed by MdAlimuddin and later on RK Ranbir were short-lived due to large-scale defections during those times.
RK Ranbir, during his time, introduced prohibition for the first time which exists till today. Some notable achievements during his time was the establishment of Manipur University and Regional Medical College (now RIMS).
Stalwarts like YangmasoShaiza, Laishram Manaobi, ThounaojamChaoba, RK Dorendra, L Chandramani, Colonel HaobamBhubon, Okram Joy and a lot others walked the corridor of party office located just adjacent to Mapal Kangjeibung right in the heart of Imphal city. And this plot of prime land on which the party office stands became a curse for the party.
Just as the Congress party chose to locate its office in front of the Johnstone Higher Secondary Secondary School and adjacent to Manipur Public Library, the MPP leaders managed to occupy the prime land near Kangjeibung and lay claim to it after coming to power in 1972.
The said land was once a public pond catering to the needs of the surrounding Bazar inhabitants. And, it was allotted to the party.
After 1992, the decline of MPP slowly began with internal party squabbling and dissidence among the ranks to control the power and administration of the party.
Also Read: Manipur People’s Party no longer exists in ECI record
The party office was surrounded on all sides by shops of all kinds and eateries leased out by the party while the party office was cramped inside. Then, allegations of misuse of party funds including deposits by shop-owners and cooking the books came out in the open with factions crying foul.
Civil suits also came to the courts for control of the party administration while also appealing to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for legitimacy and control.
Sadly, the Manipur People’s Party (MPP) does not exist anymore in the record of the Election Commission of India (ECI), as there are no authorised MPP officials in the ECI records at present, according to a RTI reply.
The incident came to light after an RTI reply from the principal secretary of ECI dated February 22. The RTI report which sought the particulars of the existing president and office bearers of the MPP was filed by one Saratkumar Maimom.
Somewhere, if one turns on a search engine and looks for “Manipur People's Party" it will appear as a registered unrecognized State party in the state of Manipur prior to its de-recognition on 20.12.2013, having reserved the symbol 'Bicycle' in the said state.
There are still bloodhounds ready to pounce on the assets of the regional party and there seems no end to the court cases currently going on. We think it is time for MPP old hands to come out and drive out the pretenders and revive the party once again for the cause of regionalism and begin a new path to real politics.