By the Editor
Meghalaya will go to the polls by early 2023 and so hardly few months are left for candidates to prepare for political eventuality. Parties too are busy working by convening public meetings and having closed-door sessions to plan for future course of action with an aim of capturing power. They try reaching out to allies because as situation stands at present none of the parties can manage majority on their own. Admittedly , however, the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) with Nationalist People’s Party (NPP) as major partner has an edge. The United Democratic Party (UDP), its major ally, is trying its best to improve its tally and intends to make entry into Garo Hills sector where it has no MLA at present. Interestingly, NPP and UDP will fight against each other in quite a number of assembly constituencies and this will undoubtedly benefit opposition parties. Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) is in a dilemma because its two sitting MLAs will leave the party – Mawkyrwat MLA Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar will contest on UDP ticket and Sohiong MLA Samlin Malngiang on NPP ticket. In the last assembly election 2018, UDP and HSPDP had amicable understanding but for coming election UDP rejected outright much to the chagrin of HSPDP. People’s Democratic Front (PDF) with four MLAs will disintegrate each going his way. Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) with only single MLA Adelbert Nongrum from North Shillong has to struggle hard to retain its seat against retired bureaucrats.
Towards the end of last year, Dr. Mukul Sangma unexpectedly quit the Congress taking 11 other MLAs along with him and joined All India Trinamool Congress (AITC). As if to add insult to injury, remaining five Congress legislators soon joined the MDA government at the beginning of 2022 and were consequently suspended which however did not bother them at all. Feeling insecure and uncertain of their future, it was only a matter of time before others too start seeking greener pastures elsewhere. Not to be daunted either, the Grand Old Party (GOP) under the new Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President and three-time Lok Sabha M P (Member of Parliament) from Shillong Parliamentary Constituency Vincent H Pala started reorganising by recruiting new, fresh, young faces who immediately take it up as a challenge. It remains to be seen how these brave novices fare in electoral battle and it depends mostly on their leaders. John D. Rockfeller said, “Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” BJP (Bharaitya Janata Party) is mostly confined to urban areas and as usual the independents too will be there.
Until date for election is declared, there is no finality on the list of some constituencies because party MLAs are barred from switching parties until the ripe time as per Tenth Schedule otherwise it might attract disqualification. Meanwhile, from now onward potential candidates and their respective supporters are busy in campaigning and wooing people for their valuable votes. Experiences in the past have shown that women usually played vital role and in quite a number of constituencies they outnumber men.