The beautiful north-eastern states of India have faced decay, misrule and extremism for decades.
The beautiful north-eastern states of India have faced decay, misrule and extremism for decades. The region comprising seven states has all potentials to become as developed as the western parts of the country and also a global tourism destination. The seven states have been ruled mostly by the Congress party since independence, with an exception of Tripura. Despite dominating in the region as well as the Centre for most of the years since 1947, the Congress party has failed to create an environment conducive for development and ending poverty.
Consider this: An economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council on Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Silchar roads have skyrocketed the prices of basic commodities like cooking gas and petrol. But the sitting Congress government in Manipur has not been able to solve this crisis, even as people of the state continue to suffer. As per Niti Aayog estimates, the per capita income in Manipur is just around Rs 24,000, which may have further contracted in the last 10 years.
The poverty and unemployment in the North East are not just limited to Manipur also but spread in other states of the region as well. But all of this is on the verge of change with the rapid rise of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the region. The party is now ruling in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. If exit polls are to be believed, the saffron party may beat the Congress. One may claim that BJP would be the same as Congress. But then, here’s a catch.
In a democracy, change of government always gives a push to development as the new party coming to power wants to keep the voters impressed for long. We no longer live in a time when parties and their leaders can take the voters for granted and carry on with their dirty tactics. Voters are now wise and assertive.
In his election rally in Manipur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured people of the state that the BJP government would take measures to end the economic blockade and correct the wrongs committed by the Congress.
More than the assurance, Modi faces the challenge to change the notion in Manipur, or in fact entire north-east, that politicians are essentially corrupt. Considering the way, PM Modi has been leading the Centre in the last 2.5 years, it can be expected that he would do everything to ensure he will help people realise all his assurances.