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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Shifting sands


The state of Meghalaya has witnessed the Congress ruling us for decades right from the time we attained statehood. Some people had given huge credit to the former government while some have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the functioning of the regime. Once a powerful force to be reckoned with has now been subjected to becoming a minor force in both the state and the Centre!

With the NPP-led government coming to power in the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress felt the discomfort of sitting on the Opposition bench. This feeling of being powerless might have been the reason divisions emerged among the Congress in the past four years. To be at the helm of power for the Congress is now nothing but a dream, which has further led to the recent political developments in the state.

Last year, the state witnessed the mass exodus when former chief minister Mukul Sangma along with 11 other MLAs deserted the party to shift allegiance to the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), a Bengal-based political party led by Mamata Banerjee. This development can be viewed as a desperate move as the infighting within the Congress grew louder with Vincent Pala taking charge as the MPCC president which added more fuel to the fire. With all the loopholes, it was strange to witness the Congress High Command choosing to remain silent and turn a blind eye to the rumblings of the party which has significantly murdered the Grand Old Party’s stiffed presence in Meghalaya. The move had literally neutralised the party, downsizing the Congress MLAs to only five. Was this a right move altogether or was it a blunder that they brought upon themselves? Let us look into the further developments that affected the political scenario in our state.

With the recent development where the Congress Legislature Party leader Ampareen Lyngdoh along with four other MLAs officially extended their support to the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, one can say that the Congress is on the verge of extinction in our state. Now, we can deduce that this is one of the early moves of slowly shifting their loyalty to a much more prominent political party, though the ultimate outcome will only be revealed in the months to come. The move also sparked sharp reactions from the MPCC and the AICC, as they were unaware of the decision that was taken without consultation. There’s a saying by Mark Twain which states that “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it” which perfectly fits the ongoing shift in our state’s politics but the intention of the move is really worth thinking of on whether the five MLAs supported the MDA because of their own personal gain and for their respective constituencies or if this could be the first slow step on the way of changing tides.

There is no denying that NPP has now become a major force, and the UDP is also another force to be reckoned with among the regional parties. The leaders will abandon their present party to pave way for the game-changing political scenario that is going to take place in the 2023 Assembly elections, which will be one of the most exciting battles for the “Game of Thrones” in the history of Meghalaya politics. It’s either one will stay in the old ship that will eventually sink prior to 2023 or make a move which will highly benefit a leader to earn his/her place in the government! The AITC has gotten itself in a tight spot now. The people are yet to accept the party because of the little knowledge of the party’s ideology and stance. This will only add to the advantage of the major players like NPP and the UDP in the upcoming 2023 Assembly elections!

Maitshaphrang Khongwir, Shillong

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