It is not only surprising but a little bit funny that the resignation of four Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) MLAs of Manipur has at last been “officially” accepted after one complete year. Though it took one year in this regard but in the case of Y. Erabot, the Congress MLA from Wangkhei, it did not take even a week to study or process his resignation papers. This is not surprising considering the timing of the resignation acceptance. Barely five months are left now for the current state assembly to complete its tenure of five years. The NPF MLAs had given their papers in the first week of September last year following the passing of the infamous three bills dubbed as anti-tribal by the tribal community of the state. NPF MLAs alleged that no opportunity was given to them to oppose the bill. It was also pointed out that the Hill Area Committee (HAC) was deliberately bypassed. Above all, the NPF legislators resigned in protest against the state government’s alleged trampling of the “Naga interest”. It was not only the Naga MLAs but the entire tribal MLAs who were told to quit the assembly by some tribal based civil organizations in protest against the passing of “anti-tribal bills”. Though the NPF MLAs had submitted their resignation papers then but the Naga MLAs and ministers of the ruling Congress party never cared to follow suit. So was the case with the rest of the tribal MLAs and ministers though it can’t be denied that some MLAs from Churachanpur district have put in their papers under pressure from the civil societies only to withdraw the same before it reached the Speaker’s table. During the last budget session of the state assembly certain MLAs had ridiculed the Speaker that the resigned NPF MLAs had continued to enjoy salaries and perks. Now it is clear that their resignations were not accepted then and so were entitled to enjoy all facilities and pay of an MLA.
The instant acceptance of Y. Erabot’s resignation paper is also understandable. Dubbed as an “opposition MLA from the ruling party”, Y. Erabot was thorn in the shoe for the ruling Congress. It would have been a bold step for Y. Erabot’s had he resigned from the Congress party as well as from the MLA if he feels injustice he has been done to him when he was degraded from cabinet to MLA. Now this former congress veteran has not only resigned from the congress party and the MLA-ship but also immediately joined the congress arch rival, the BJP. This is how his resignation as MLA was not only instantly accepted but was expelled from the congress more instantaneously.