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The Step Sister
A sojourn to one of the states lumped together as the Northeast during elections is to realise the media and government have no use for those parts of the country which do not count in Parliament. Unless it is Jammu and Kashmir. Single parliamentary seat wonders like Nagaland and Sikkim, and two-seat ones like Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, are lucky if they even rate a passing mention in the election sweepstakes. To know how people in Imphal feel about being on the fringe of national imagination, all you have to do is watch exit polls on TV. Over one hour you are taken through UP, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Karnataka, with much numbercrunching. Eventually Assam rates a mention—it does, after all, have 14 seats. And the rest? Well, they have a category on the TV graphic called Other States.