Anticipating a hung parliament at the Centre, efforts are being made to disturb political stability in the North-East. Though people behind such moves will never admit it openly, the fact remains that several parleys have already taken place to dethrone incumbent governments in the North-Eastern states. Whether the move will succeed or not, only time will tell. But one thing can be stated clearly is that those who are dreaming to capture power through backdoor are playing with fire. For their own interests they are trying to vitiate the atmosphere of peace and stability in the region.
Gone are those days when North-East used to be known for its political instability. Toppling elected governments with the help of horse trading was rampant. Sometimes, the entire legislature party was forced to switch sides to be in the good books of those who have both money and power. As a result, all states of the region have suffered immensely in terms of development and good governance as no one was sure what’s in store next. For instance, once a minister from a North-Eastern made a trip to Delhi for funds to improve the agriculture scenario of his state. He was told by a sympathetic minister to submit a detailed proposal for the same. But before he could go back to his native state, the minister got the news that his government had been toppled.
At the same time, political instability caused the region dearly as no steps worth mentioning could be initiated to bring back the misguided youths to the national mainstream. All steps were merely knee-jerk reactions or lip service. This is why one top intelligence official, who understood North-East much better than anyone else in the North Block of his times, once commented that situation in North-East became more complex as the right decisions were taken at wrong time and wrong decisions were taken at right time. He blamed political instability for such a situation as he felt it impossible to redress the genuine grievances of the North-Eastern people without having stable governments at the states.
North-East started to witness much needed stability in the mid-90s. From that time till now, most of the governments in the North-Eastern states completed full five-year terms. Former Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar is among one of the longest serving chief ministers of the country. In Assam, Tarun Gogoi was Chief Minister for 15 years at a stretch. In Nagaland Neiphiu Rio also won three consecutive assembly elections. An almost similar feat was achieved by Ibobi Singh in Manipur. Meghalaya, Mizoram also witnessed political stability. Outcome for such a stable political environment is there for everyone to judge. Peace process has been initiated; development has been ushered in. Today, the happiness index of the North-East is much higher that what it was at the beginning of the 21st century.
But it appears that a few are not in favour of peace and tranquillity in the region. They are now making efforts to regain power with the help of their political friends in New Delhi. Efforts to topple the Manipur Government have already made news. News regarding other states will catch headlines once it is decided who will rule the country for the next five years. If it happens according to the wishes of people with vested interests, efforts will be more vigorous to fish in troubled waters even at the expense of the well being of the North-Eastern populace.