Modi factor in state’s prosperity
Though there is no official announcement yet on common minimum programme, which has been the hallmark for any coalition government formed so far, at the national or state level, the new administration headed by chief minister Nongthombam Biren seems to be wasting no time in acting on the promises made in the run-up to the state assembly elections. Weeks after issuing key orders towards maintaining administrative transparency and curbing corruption, along with reaching out to the ‘lamenting’ people in the hill areas, the new government is evidently prepared for the take-off to bridge the trust deficit in the society through expediting development programmes. Pre-poll promises made by the alliance partners might have been diluted by the assertion of the BJP that, if voted to power, it would accomplish in 15 months what the previous Congress government could not perform in their 15 years of holding the rein of power in the state. Enlisting 57 development projects in the 100-day work programme could be presumed as laying the groundwork for ushering in a new era of socio-economic prosperity and to ensure that the taxpayers are not deprived of their constitutional rights to reap the fruits of development. The BJP-led government has, for the moment, followed through on the promise for better living condition of the common people and reining in corrupt bureaucrats. The 100-day programmes which the cabinet approved on Wednesday, gives main emphasis to construction of houses of the economically underprivileged section of the society, piped water to maximum number of households and generate employment opportunities.
Construction of houses and supplying potable water could be comparatively easier tasks as the Centre, also headed by the BJP, is unlikely to raise much posers in case the Biren government could impress that fund adequacy is a necessity to not only keep the promises but put Manipur on the track to development. Expediting relevant process for completing the major projects like Mapithel and Dolaithabi dams, which had been headaches for the previous government, would also enable the new government to facilitate the people have access to drinking water and for irrigating the fields, which remain parched for over half a calendar year. The main challenge that the government might face is in providing decent jobs to the ever increasing population of educated employed youths on account of Manipur bereft of industries worth mentioning. Regardless of the cabinet’s approval to constituting governing council and other bodies to monitor execution of the enlisted projects, bearing fruits will solely depend on the quantum of funds released by the Centre. To the commoners, the coalition government achieving its objectives might appear unrealistic and the vision could be viewed as merely cosmetic measures to keep the people in jovial mood, due to state’s poor financial condition and lack of infrastructure. However, economic backwardness should not be a deterrent as firm resolve by the state government to bail out the people from their present distressful condition is certain to get the goodwill of the Narendra Modi-government, which is learnt to have so far fulfilled 18 per cent of the promises the BJP made in its 2014 election manifesto. According to an analysis by ‘Kulhar’, a research organisation, work is in progress on 52 per cent of the assurances listed in the BJP manifesto.