Even as the opposition parties and pliant ‘journalists’ had been trying to push a narrative that the Centre has not done much to contain the crisis in Manipur, a new survey showed that the majority of the respondents believe that the Indian government has done its part to bring normalcy in the strife-torn state.
The opposition moved a No-confidence motion that will be debated on the 10th of August and PM Modi will address the house on the 12th of August on Manipur and a host of other issues. Amid all of this, Pollsters India, a prominent public opinion tracking company, conducted a survey on the situation in Manipur, revealing significantly contrasting results that highlight a noticeable disparity between perception and reality.
The agency conducted the survey between 22 and 27 July. The survey covered 9,679 adult respondents across 22 states and UTS. While 50 per cent of the respondents replied that the state government could have done more to contain the situation, 57 per cent of the respondents said the centre did its bit to bring the Manipur situation under control.
The survey results come in the wake of opposition MPs’ Manipur visit, through which, they have been blaming the central government for the worsening situation of the state.
The key findings of the survey
The Pollsters India survey found that an overwhelming majority look at Manipur more as an ethnic conflict and less as a law and order problem. According to the survey findings around 55% of the respondent looked at it as an ethnic conflict, and around 29% termed it as a law & order issue.
The majority of the respondents said that the state government could have done better to handle the situation, however, they added that the central government has a little role and they did their bit to control the problem in the state.
Pollsters India also analysed the issue on the basis of party preferences and found that even the majority of the neutral political respondents (not aligned with either BJP or Congress+) largely support the BJP on this issue.
According to the agency, INC has not been able to make much impact, despite its strong attack against the Centre. Evidently, the survey found that only 36% of the Congress party’s support base looked at it as a law and order issue while 40% of them termed it as an ethnic issue.
The spate of violence in Manipur began in early May and the survey asked the respondents about the primary reason for the violence.
According to the survey, 55% of the respondents saw this as an ethnic conflict between the Meities and Kukis while 29% saw it as a law-and-order problem. 16% of the respondents did not have a clear view of the matter.
Further, the Pollsters India survey found that the Opposition’s attack against the central government had a limited impact as the majority of the respondent perceived it as a state government mishandling.
About half the respondents said that the state government has not done enough to control the situation in the state. While 34% of the respondents stated that they were satisfied with the way in which the state government handled the situation.
However, about 57% of the respondents believe that the Union Government has done enough to control the situation. Only 1/4th, 25% of the respondents believe that the central government could have done more. Whereas 18% of the respondents said that they don’t have a clear view of the matter.
The survey also found that even on the basis of party lines, the majority of the respondents (BJP, Congress+, and even neutral respondents) support the Centre on this issue.
According to the survey, 70% of the BJP supporters looked at Manipur as an ethnic conflict while those who support the Congress (and its allies) are divided on the issue. 40% of the Congress+ supporters believe that Manipur is in the middle of an ethnic conflict while 36% see this as a law and order problem.
Meanwhile, the survey found that Political neutrals — respondents who claimed that they don’t see themselves as supporters of any political party — leaned more towards the BJP on this issue.
According to the Pollsters India survey findings, 51% of “political neutrals’ believe that Manipur is an ethnic conflict and 31% of the respondents believe it is a law and order problem. 44% of those who support other parties, which haven’t joined the Congress-led alliance, believe it is an ethnic conflict against 41% who say it is a law and order problem.