What Congress must do to win Manipur polls in 2017

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei
Ningombam Bupenda MeiteiApr 04, 2016 | 17:25

What Congress must do to win Manipur polls in 2017

Manipur's 47 Congress MLAs must collectively, and not separately in small groups, call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi as soon as possible to deliberate and exchange views and opinions, which may be contrary to each other, inside a closed-door meeting instead of issuing public statements that appear to be at opposite poles.

Some public statements made by members of Manipur Congress in the last few days have not only left the people of Manipur confused, but also helped present the Congress party in Manipur in worse light.

Even in Kerala, the party's high command under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi is intervening, not interfering per se, between chief minister Oommen Chandy and the president of KPCC so that the party-led UDF (United Democratic Front) comes back to power in Kerala for much better governance. The question is - who will initiate and make a formal request to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the entire CLP (Congress Legislature Party) members of Manipur, or the 47 INC MLAs?

Such initiative has to be responsibly taken up by the newly appointed MPCC (Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee) president TN Haokip, along with the chairman of CLP - Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. This will ensure that both the Manipur government led by the CLP president and the party look confident to form the Congress government in Manipur in 2017.

However, understanding the views, which have been seen as contrary to each other, is of paramount significance as they not only reflect the vibrant internal democracy of the Congress, but also the logical and ethical questions in the political journey of the chief minister, who could not deliver on his publicly known promise of the 2.5 (two and a half years) formula to his MLAs and ministers - who pose logical arguments and counter arguments on why resignation is vehemently problematic and why Cabinet reshuffle should unfailingly take place.

Logic and ethics - the essentials of philosophy - can resolve the conflict and political dilemma of Manipur Congress, which has played a historic role in the state's politics.

It is imperative we logically counter questions, as raised by some ministers of Ibobi Singh's Cabinet, on why they should resign or be replaced a few months before the election as that could give a public impression that they were not performing.

Must their position be jeopardised to fulfill Ibobi Singh's historic promise to the Congress MLAs, who placed their trust in him?

While the ministers and the 25 MLAs in the Congress argue logically - their views are interesting and politically significant as they further question the morality and ethics of the leadership of Okram Ibobi Singh, who is not only Manipur CM, but has also become significantly influential as he has turned peacemaker between the two opposing, as perceived today, groups - his ministers and the other congregation of 25 MLAs.

Ibobi Singh's rise as a peacemaker, negotiating between the two blocs, can be seen in the light of his own fading political strength and charisma in Manipur elections 2016, but it can also be seen as the rise of his concentrative political influence as he becomes a source and unifying entity for all the 47 Congress MLAs - dissenting MLAs as well as ministers - of Manipur before 2017.

The question is - why has Ibobi Singh, the politician, failed to accomplish his own promise?

The larger question is also - can "not fulfilling" a political promise be a ground to question the ethics and moral principles of Singh, who also is from the same party as the MLAs?

The ethical problem, in this regard, is the failure of the realisation of the political promises. The logical problem is whether the possibility of the failure will aid the necessary sustenance of political power.

If Ibobi Singh's political moral ethics are to be questioned, then at the same time, the timing of the dissenting arguments also need to be looked at both logically and ethically, as there is hardly a financial year left for any new leader to administer the ministry or department, considering the entire budget allocation of the financial year 2016 - 2017 has been finalised.

If Ibobi Singh promised a rotation and two-and-half-year tenure, why was he not reminded of his gentleman's promise when the promised period was over in 2014 - before Narendra Modi became the prime minister?

The present Congress government in Manipur has 12 ministers, including the chief minister. The promise for the rotation of the ministerial berth was expected to include the entire council of ministers.

The need of the hour is to unite all the 47 Congress MLAs to fight against the divisive and communal forces of India that are trying to destroy the unity and integrity of Manipur, and call on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to not only air their views, but also gather the conviction and confidence to come back to power in 2017 to build a more protected and deeply integrated Manipur.

They must also demand the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Manipur, which was passed in the form of three historic bills by Manipur Assembly. Without the ILP, the Assembly elections will have little significance for the people of Manipur.

Last updated: April 04, 2016 | 17:36
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