Imphal, Dec. 26: Taking inspiration from the Aam Aadmi Party’s success in Delhi, the Manipur People’s Party (MPP) today pledged to restore its glory by reaching out to the people with promises of “clean and transparent” politics.
“Arvind Kejriwal’s candidates are clean and the party won 28 of the 70 seats in the Assembly. There is no reason why we cannot do so. We need to become men of integrity with high moral values and without corruption and hunger for power. We need to change the brand of politics,” A.K. Sanaton, an MPP working committee member, said.
The MPP, one of the oldest and powerful regional parties in the Northeast, was formed in 1968 by a group of disgruntled Congressmen, led by Md Alimuddin, who became the chief minister twice, and Yumnam Yaima, who went to become a member of the Lok Sabha. The party ruled the state thrice in two decades, beginning 1972, but does not have a single MLA at present.
The party today reviewed its performance since inception and discussed its present state of affairs at a programme organised at the party head office here to mark its 46th foundation day.
The working committee members analysed the rise and fall of the party and suggested remedies, including admitting “mistakes” and preparing to “correct” them.
“The party could not elect a single MLA because its legislators joined other parties before the anti-defection law came into being. Even after that, party MLAs left the MPP for other parties for power,” Sanaton said.
The MPP had five MLAs in the previous term. In 2012, four of them contested on other parties’ tickets and won while the fifth was defeated.
Party sources said internal squabbling also contributed to the downfall. The party’s strength has come down to such a level that it has no strength to field its own candidates in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
“We have not discussed about contesting the Lok Sabha election,” a party source said.
The MPP is likely to extend support to candidates put up by the BJP.
Reminding party workers of Manipur’s “achievements” under MPP rule, former party president and former deputy chief minister L. Chandramani Singh urged the workers to tell the people about these. He said it was during the MPP government’s rule that the Regional Medical College (now Regional Institute of Medical Sciences), the Central Agriculture University and the Khuman Lampak sports complex, to name a few, had come up.
“Please tell the people about these achievements. Follow in the footsteps of Aam Aadmi Party. The fact that we do not have an MLA should not discourage us. Be loyal to the party and make the sacrifice,” he said.