Manipur elections 2022: An influential Mighty community seeking tribal status could become a major election issue

Summary

The Mighties make up half of the state’s population of 2.7 million and live mainly in the Imphal Valley. Most of them follow Hinduism. Interestingly, despite being the most influential community in the state, this community is demanding reservations in the Scheduled Tribe (Tribal) category. Other tribes in the state are strongly opposed to it. This may become the main theme of the election this time.

Congress has appointed senior leader Jairam Ramesh as the in-charge of the Northeastern States.
– Photo: Amar Ujala.

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Manipur is one of the five states in the country where assembly elections will be held in three months. Polls suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party may return to power in Manipur, despite the fact that the BJP is currently in power and is in a tough competition with the opposition Congress.

Mighty community demand and election issue

This time the Lok Janshakti Party will contest the special elections outside the NDA. It does not make much difference to the BJP as it has formed many roots in Manipur in five years. The BJP and the RSS have strengthened their presence, especially in Meethai, an influential community in the state.

Significantly, the Mighty community in Manipur converted to Hinduism only in the 17th-18th centuries. The Mighties have been living in the area for centuries, and previous socioeconomic and ethnographic surveys have suggested that the Mighties were not even tribal. Therefore, the MEETs increased the pressure on the state government to include their category in the Scheduled Tribes.

Although the government has not yet taken any decision on this demand, it has led to a rift between the Mets and other tribal communities. This demand of the Mighty community angered other tribes in the state. He said you are no longer a tribal from any angle. These tribesmen fear that if the government gives you tribal status, the lands of the poor tribals will be grabbed.

In the case of devolution of power in the state, it will be difficult to form a government unless the Congress gets a clear majority. The Congress is facing setbacks ahead of the elections. Recently, former Congress state president Govindas Kontujam joined the BJP. Govindas is a 6 time MLA from Bishanpur.

Congress senior leader Jairam Ramesh, on the other hand, has been appointed in-charge of the northeastern states, but the election results show just how clever he has been in manipulating the situation. Okram Ibobi is leading the Congress in the state. But there is also deep dissatisfaction in Congress over the Ibobi leadership. Interestingly, Ibobi’s nephew Henry Singh is now a minister in the Beering government.

Election accounts?

Meanwhile, National People’s Party of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is also planning to contest 40-45 seats in the state. The NPP is currently part of the ruling NDA coalition government. The NPP won 4 seats in the last assembly elections. Mamata Banerjee TMC is also in the process of strengthening its presence in the state. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state is desperately trying to solidify its position. The aim is to bring the party back to power on its own. To this end, the organization is being strengthened at the grassroots level.

The BJP is trying to win as many seats as possible in the Imphal Valley region, thereby facilitating the formation of a government. It is also noteworthy that the RSS has been active in Manipur since 1952. There are currently 115 units operating in the state. These units are in the form of branch, milan and council.

The union also runs schools in five districts of the state. There are also Brahmins in the Mighty community in Manipur. In the local language they are called bamon. In 2016, the regional ‘Maitei Nationalist Party’ was founded by former soldier Brahmachari and Angosana Sharma. The party is a supporter of ‘Akhanda Bharatavarsh’. The BJP made the Krishna and Rukmini symbols to unite the northeastern states with the rest of India.

Speaking at a recent function in Porbandar, Gujarat, Chief Minister Byrne Singh said-

Chief Minister Nong Thombam Biren Singh is the first Chief Minister of the BJP-led government. By the way, even the tenure of Biren Singh is not flawless. Two years ago, there was a demand in BJP circles to remove him from the post. However with the intervention of the party high command, the affair cooled down after the cabinet reshuffle.

In fact, it is widely believed that Chief Minister Biren Singh has succeeded in maintaining harmony between the non-tribal and tribal Naga and Kuki communities in the state.

However, the BJP’s focus is mainly on Congress MLAs. With the BJP winning four seats in the by-elections for five VIS seats in the state, it is no surprise that many Congress MLAs are joining the BJP with the election announcement. One independent candidate won. The Congress did not get a single seat.

Internal conflicts in Manipur are on many levels. Hill dwellers do not get along well with nagas and cookies and nagas and mites. The BJP alliance with the ‘Naga People’s Party’ is an ‘unholy’ alliance in the eyes of the allies. Mitei is also opposed to the ‘Framework Agreement’ reached between the Government of India and some Naga organizations in the past.

In fact, the reason for this is that the Naga region in Manipur is also in great demand in Nagaland (Nagalim). The Mighty never wanted to annex any part of their land to Nagaland. The impact of the recent anti-India sentiment in Nagaland is also felt in the Manipur elections.

The question is what kind of problems will arise in this Assembly election. The BJP is investing heavily in Hindutva and development in the state. The BJP views the tenure of the Biren Singh government as a ‘citizen-centric rule’.

Apart from this, the demand to repeal the AFSPA Act and to grant Scheduled Tribe status to the Mighty community could be a major issue around Imphal in the state. The real picture will be known only after the announcement of the election.

Disclaimer: These are the author’s personal views. Amar Ujala is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness and facts of the information contained in the article. Give us your thoughts [email protected] Attach a brief introduction and photo with the article that can be sent.

Range

Manipur is one of the five states in the country where assembly elections will be held in three months. Polls suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party may return to power in Manipur, despite the fact that the BJP is currently in power and is in a tough competition with the opposition Congress.

The Manipur Legislative Assembly has 60 members. The BJP won only 21 seats in the 2017 assembly elections, but was manipulated to form a government with the support of three regional parties, the Naga People’s Front, the National People’s Party and the Lok Janshakti Party. Despite winning 28 seats, the Congress had to sit in the opposition.

Mighty community demand and election issue

This time the Lok Janshakti Party will contest the special elections outside the NDA. It does not make much difference to the BJP as it has formed many roots in Manipur in five years. The BJP and the RSS have strengthened their presence, especially in Meethai, an influential community in the state.

The Mighties make up half of the state’s population of 2.7 million and live mainly in the Imphal Valley. Most of them follow Hinduism. Interestingly, despite being the most influential community in the state, this community is demanding reservations in the Scheduled Tribe (Tribal) category. Other tribes in the state are strongly opposed to it. This may become the main theme of the election this time.

Significantly, the Mighty community in Manipur converted to Hinduism only in the 17th-18th centuries. The Mighties have been living in the area for centuries, and previous socioeconomic and ethnographic surveys have suggested that the Mighties were not even tribal. Therefore, the MEETs increased the pressure on the state government to include their category in the Scheduled Tribes.

Although the government has not yet taken any decision on this demand, it has led to a rift between the Mets and other tribal communities. This demand of the Mighty community angered other tribes in the state. He said you are no longer a tribal from any angle. These tribesmen fear that if the government gives you tribal status, the lands of the poor tribals will be grabbed.

In fact, demand for a separate Mighty state may also pick up in the future. In this regard, the Kuki tribal community in the state said that the Maitis had previously opposed calling themselves tribals for years and now why do they want tribal status? It is also believed that the reason for this is the financial pressure and the low dominance of the Mighty community in the administration.

In the case of devolution of power in the state, it will be difficult to form a government unless the Congress gets a clear majority. The Congress is facing setbacks ahead of the elections. Recently, former Congress state president Govindas Kontujam joined the BJP. Govindas has been an MLA from Bishanpur constituency 6 times.

Congress senior leader Jairam Ramesh, on the other hand, has been appointed in-charge of the northeastern states, but the election results show just how clever he has been in manipulating the situation. Okram Ibobi is leading the Congress in the state. But there is also deep dissatisfaction in Congress over the Ibobi leadership. Interestingly, Ibobi’s nephew Henry Singh is now a minister in the Beering government.

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