Role of Chiefs and their Associations in the Electoral Politics of Manipur with Special Reference to Churachandpur District in the 2007 Assembly Election
By Lhungdim Bulchong Hemkhomang
Despite the emergence of the Manipur Village Authority Act, 1956 in the hill areas, the Chiefs in Churachandpur district who are supposed to be Chairman of the Village Authority continues to exert authority within the territory of their villages. In the present day-Churachandpur, Chiefs generally tend to have a democratic outlook during the elections. Many declared ‘Free Vote’ in the villages during elections. The respects and obeisance they command from the villagers give them the ‘mandate’ to influence the voting behaviors in the polling booths. With wide horizons of democratic outlook and accommodative attitudes of the ultramodern Chiefs, the present form of the institution of Chieftaincy deserves to be strengthened with Legislative Acts. Nevertheless, the current mad race to become a Chief at all cost should be discouraged in order to preserve and conserve the uniqueness of the Traditional Institution of Chieftainship.