O Ibobi and President’s Rule

By Donn Morgan Kipgen

Out of nowhere comes a diplomatic bombshell from somewhere to rattle the State of Manipur without extra rounds to back it up. Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the prospect of “President’s Rule (PR) Mantra”. Though the sources and conditions are highly questionable, it can happen if it really could. Since strictly confidential words of PR did not come out from the all-important PMO and the Union Home Ministry, it is doubtful if the PR Mantra is on the card at present. Judging by the swiftness of political manoeuvring, outrageous socio-political manipulations and diplomatic Breach of Protocol during crunch time period, the fall of O Ibobi Administration under the present circumstances is just and idle matter of speculation and the PR is highly unlikely. Moreover, the Governor, Dr. SS Sidhu, has still not SMS a detail official PR memo to invoke the Art. 352 to the President and other Central authorities concerned as required, according to some reliable sources. The main problem is the credibility, intensiveness, decisiveness and the political — correctness of the subject — matter far more acceptable enough to bring down one of the few surviving Cong-I Government in India by a few Cong-I led Central Government. And the last thing the PM Manmohan Singh’s Government wants is to lose a Cong-I Government (having an` absolute majority) to follow the 4 or 5 defeated or fallen Cong-I dominated State Governments in the recent assembly elections.

It is rather amusing to observe that the PR Mantra is being used as a seemingly diplomatic deterrent force by the O Ibobi’s Govt itself. Once again it is Law and Order issue which sounded the call for PR. Yet it seems there are no corruptions nor institutionalised briberies in Manipur, atleast on political paper, just bloody cloak and bagger games. Regarding the deteriorating Law and Order problem, Ibobi made a timely pre-emptive diplomatical strike with his “Ask no mercy, give no mercy” speech days before the filmsy words of PR got out. Like US President George Walker Bush, the CM of Manipur talked tough in what appears to be “kill them (UG militants) all, let God sort ’em out” policy. His “take no prisoner” suggests that Ibobi smelt the air of PR on Law and Order ground beforehand. Any similar tough talk now or later would appear just a mean talk to impress the Central authorities. Under the on-going situation, some poor mother’s sons would pay dearly to bring few messages across from now on. Ibobi is an enigma — he knows nothing but sees everything, he moves nowhere but plays everything, he is vulnerable all the times but survives all the times, his plate is small yet he hunts big games and he is seemingly out of reach to the common people like other former CMs but he plays people game for 6 years in a row. That’s O Ibobi, the Survivor for you, good citizens. Only an all-out resounding PR call could be used by the Leaders of the Dissident Group and Opposition Party to nail him down in 3-way “die-all gun draw”. But then, judges and onlookers would suffer stray-bullets’ wounds. On the hindsight, there’s a strong probability that only a wounded O Ibobi, the Survivor could still be the last man standing with smoking guns once again. Indeed, one would expect such nasty showdown outcome given the fact that an outsider and nondescript Cong-I MLA from Khangabok who was given a CM seat for 5 or 6 months by senior members (to be replaced once the party smokes cleared out) has now been still sitting pretty strong for nearly 6 years. Forget about the PR, “the Wrong Man for the Wrong Job” has long since firmly consolidated his foothold in all slippy directions whenever there was an emergency situation, laced with inter-party landmines, only to come out with more powerful ammunitions and most unexpected authority over that particular issue. If the much criticised O Ibobi survived a much more maligned 5 years-Administration and a relentless year of “Oust Ibobi campaign’ by his senior colleagues unsuccessfully, there is a good chance that he would fight and buy his way through the call for PR.

Now the big question is: “What more anti-Govt activities and deadlier crimes happened in the last 5 or 6 months that had not happened in the last 5 or 6 years under O Ibobi’s Administration in the ever violatile State of Manipur to justifiably enable the sudden imposition of President’s Rule? What is the difference between other bloody incidents that took place recently and that of other similar bloody incidents which took place in the past 5 or 6 years? Hence, the petulant excuse of Law and Order problems to invoke the dreaded PR, which no doubt, is very much questional in non-political fraternities. The call for PR is also a direct message to all UG militant outfits that, without a stable Government, there would be no financial sources, nor high-level protections and political patronisations once a PR is invoked, hence, the need to maintain discipline and order amongst UG outfits and to curd their high-flying bloody activities. The CM is still unruffled by the PR threat but he has already made it crystal clear that those people who hold the hammers and the nails would be death with no mercy whatsoever. The message, though hardly audible, is also clear to whom it may concern. The silent warning from the PMO and AICC Chief, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, through the MHA, points out that there would be no new Cong-I headed Govt by the Dissident/Anti Ibobi Group leader in Manipur, nor would the highly politically-motivated UG outfits’ gory activities and the volatile acts of extreme Pressure Groups to topple Ibobi Govt should be tolerated nor would high profile anti-social activities would be taken into full account. O Ibobi or not, it would be the time-tested “swim and sink together” policy that would or should be the ultimate solution if things go far out of line, especially in the divided House of Cong-I in Manipur. Should there be a PR, then there would be no room to move freely for both UG militants and hawkish political leaders alike since an armed forces crackdown would jeopadise or compromise the politico-insurgency movements in the free-for-all State of Manipur. There is no alternative for Guns and Roses.



About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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