‘Manipur situation too complex to expect dramatic change’

March 13th, 2012 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Congress may have won a clear mandate in Manipur but the tribal situation in the state is too complex to expect any dramatic changes soon, says a Manipur ex-minister.

“People have voted for Congress. And all the state can hope for is political stability. However, it will be difficult to say whether the situation in Manipur will improve,” Gangmumei Kamei said here.

“It will be too much to expect change in the present complex situation immediately,” Kamei told IANS on the sidelines of a seminar at Jamia Millia Islamia.

Kamei is the founder-president of the Federal Party of Manipur and has held important portfolios in the Manipur government led by Nipamacha Singh in 1990s.

He attributed weak leadership among opposition parties for the landslide victory of the Congress. “Congress was a confident party and other parties were weak in their leadership,” he said.

However, he admitted that the dragging ethnic conflict between warring tribal groups, particularly the Kukis and the Nagas, has complicated issues for the government and the people of the state resulting in long economic blockades and hardships.

“The present election is a sad commentary on the ineffectiveness of human right issues on election results. Irom Sharmila is an icon but no party could effectively challenge the draconian law AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act),” lamented Gangmumei.

“Even the government of Manipur failed to reconstitute the State Human Right Commission. The human rights issue failed to convert itself into an electoral one,” he said.

Aphun Kamei, asssistant professor in the Delhi School of Economics, said the Congress party’s internal conflict may hit the prospect of development in the sate.

“Mustering a number of 42 is a big jump for the Congress which I never expected. However, the party must focus on development,” Kamei told IANS.

Gangmumei and Aphun were both attending a national seminar, “Little Known Fighters against the Raj: Manipur’s Bir Tikendrajit Singh” organized by the Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair and the Centre for North East Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, in collaboration with Manipur University.

The Manipur electorate gave a thumping majority to the Congress in the recent elections, helping it win 42 seats out of 60 seats. The party scored a hat-trick and returned to power in the northeastern state, helped by a fragmented opposition.

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