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Empty promises

25 Feb. 2018 12:28 AM IST

When political parties make promises during elections, in most cases, they are not kept because political parties are not committed to the public but to themselves. Therefore, when political parties give out their manifestos during election, most of them do so only to have good sounding words, and schemes adorn their speeches. A political party is in power for five years of a term and may be reelected if people believe them. People still believe in politicians if not their money and so would continue to vote for the same candidate or party but not dependent upon performance and ability to deliver on promises. In other states, politicians get elected and re-elected because they have done well or have managed a winning combination. In Nagaland, a candidate may win more than once or twice on the strength of one’s personality and purchasing power and not necessarily on merit of performance. All political parties in Nagaland have almost the same content in their manifestos; thereby proving that the inherent succumbing to lofty goals and idealism are without merit. Leaving aside the infrastructure and portals of learning on which most political parties have given adequate mention in their respective manifestos; there are a few issues which definitely affects all and sundry and which also demands appropriate response. As for corruption all speak of following a zero tolerance and promises of enacting an ombudsman bill. There are also promises to promote skilling, employment and launching projects that provide employment. Of course, infrastructure connectivity in road, power, rail and air are very crucial to progress. However having a big and beautiful house without power and water will have no meaning. In this regard, none of the political parties have even dared to specifically admit that extortion rings as well as a mafia-like market syndicates are all having a negative impact on the quality of life. Good governance is a tall order, like promise of rooting out corruption but all it takes to achieve a desired level is sincerity and dedication. Political parties in Nagaland must realize that they cannot ignore the elephant in the room. This problematic elephant has been responsible for the downslide and backslide of the socio-economy of the state. It is sadly an accepted fact that extortion by armed elements on all and sundry is having a negative impact. The political parties have not addressed this threat and prefer to sidestep it. The other problem that political parties seem to ignore is the mushrooming of mafia dons and crime syndicates who extort huge sums of money in order to award dealership(s) to businessmen. Syndicate system has destroyed commerce and business and also deprived consumers value for money as they are to buy only what is allowed to be sold. Syndicates control all items coming to Nagaland even such things as a truck load of sand whose cost is nearly four times the rate it is in nearby Assam. Unless the cancer of extortion and syndicates are removed there can be no economic progress and people of Nagaland can never prosper except a regulated prosperity for a handful of powerful dons. This is a very serious problem which is a roadblock against all dream and vision documents for the economic progress of Nagaland.

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