Imphal, Aug. 17: In an attempt to revive the state’s oldest regional political party, the Manipur People’s Party (MPP) today organised an open state-level debate competition on the topic “Only a regional political party can bring maximum development in the state”.
Those who opposed the motion outnumbered the supporters. MPP president N. Sovakiran Singh, however, expressed satisfaction with the response.
Altogether 74 competitors, including 47 who opposed the move, took part in the competition.
Former Speaker and former deputy chief minister Leishangthem Chandramani Singh was the moderator.
The judges were political science professor of Manipur University, Ksh. Bimola, professor of English in the university Th. Ratan and advocate Angomcha Araba,
“We are happy with the response. The participants, mostly students, are politically aware. The debate will be good politically for Manipur,” Sovakiran Singh said.
The MPP, which came to power in the seventies, has been reduced today to a party without any MLA.
The party is trying to revamp and restore its old glory before the next Assembly election scheduled for 2017.
This is for the first time that a debate has been organised on a choice between a national party and a regional one.
“Yes, the debate competition is part of our party’s efforts to create an awareness on the importance of regional parties to take the state forward,” Sovakiran Singh said.
The MPP leader said national parties had failed to recognise aspirations of the states. “Their (national parties) nationalism is communalism. So we want to popularise the role of regional parties in the development of the state,” Sovakiran Singh said.
Those who opposed the motion argued that only national parties can protect integrity of the country while regional parties would disturb cordial relations between the states.
Supporters of the topic cited failure of successive Congress governments in the state to withdraw Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Manipur and introduce inner-line permits in Manipur to present regional party as the best option.
The act and the inner-line permit (ILP) are two burning issues in Manipur. People are demanding removal of the act and implementation of the permit system.
However, members of both “treasury” and “opposition” benches of the mock Parliament stressed the importance of efficient and selfless political leaders in ensuring development.
Chandramani Singh appreciated the debate and points and counterpoints presented by the participants.
“Indeed it is a fruitful debate and will help a lot in making students and youths of the state aware of the political trends in the country,” he said.