Politics at a government function
IFP Editorial: BJP National President JP Nadda was seen and heard openly canvassing for his party BJP in a function organised by the state government
Updated on 29 Nov 2021, 5:22 am
BJP national president (L) and Manipur CM N Biren Singh (PHOTO: Twitter)
BJP National President JP Nadda was all praise for Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and his initiative of Go to Village when he addressed the crowds in Manipur recently. While many would interpret it as mere ‘courtesy remark’ for an incumbent CM from a visiting party leader, there was certainly something more in the praise. President Nadda was quite effusive in that he asked CM Biren to brief other chief ministers particularly those of BJP on how he was able to achieve the singular objective of carrying out the last mile delivery of the various government schemes and benefits right to the doorstep of families, many who had not seen the light of governance or who simply did not have the means or knowhow to access the schemes and benefits. Nadda’s unprecedented praise would have left N Biren’s detractors or claimants of the CM chair in abject despair. But, it was not without merit that the BJP central leadership chose to focus on the Go to Village initiative for the upcoming 2022 general elections. The leadership understands that Congress bashing or exposing the misdeeds of 15 years of O Ibobi regime might not work this time after five years at the helm of affairs and it was the Go to Village mission which best served the government in the good books of the general public.
The said initiative happens to be the brainchild of Chief Minister N Biren Singh which was conceived as a result of his public interactions in Miyamgi Numit and Hill Leaders Day, where he heard the concerns and grievances of the general public. It was basically aimed at service delivery of various government schemes to the general population up to the village level and ensure the reach of governance in every nook and corner of the state. 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 under the mission. It is like taking the government directly to the people at the village level instead of the villagers coming to the government offices for availing the various services and the benefits. Now, the second edition of Go to Village mission 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 difference in the second edition is that, the campaign is held for 3 continuous days in a single location instead of one day and this time it is solely for campaign purposes for the ruling party. The primary objective of the mission to take delivery services to the doorstep was circumvented to suit the designs of a ruling party in election year. Given the constant harassment and indifferent attitude of government officials besides the red tape one has to go through in their visits to government offices for availing services, the Go to Village mission is indeed a boon to the simple-minded and innocent villagers. But, the second edition of the Go to Village has become more of a political platform than a state government affair. The mission is being organised by the state Planning department in collaboration with various government departments. It started at Takhel in Imphal East, BJP brass was seen taking to the stage in the Go to Village event. The event at Salam Thongkhong was more like a political festival with BJP flags fluttering everywhere. Next, the BJP National President JP Nadda was made the chief guest at the Go to Village function held at Ngaikhong Khunou under Oinam assembly constituency of Bishnupur district. There, Nadda was seen and heard openly canvassing for his party BJP in a function organised by the state government. The Lakhsman Rekha which divides a ruling party and the state government was thrown to the winds while the opposition or the allies do not seem to mind it.