Notwithstanding the ‘wave’, the BJP may not be able to get Assam in 2016 elections, but the party may get Arunachal Pradesh, without fighting the polls! The Himalayan state was the first in the north-eastern region to have BJP holding the reins, albeit for a few months. It was in 2003 during the NDA rule at the Centre that the then Congress chief minister Gegong Apang took his entire team to join the BJP. Apang returned to the Congress fold again a just few months after saffron party’s debacle in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, which is still a nightmare for the NDA. Now the Apang ‘legacy’ continues! Rebel Congress MLAs have ganged up with support from 11 BJP MLAs to oust the present chief minister Nabam Tuki, effectively removing Congress from the seat of power, once again.
This dirty game of politics is not new. Every Indian state has faced it. Meghalaya, infamous for political instability, has so far seen over 20 chief ministers in its 40 years of statehood! Very often, the dissidents are those who are not in the cabinet. They want more ‘responsibility’ (read money). The once patriots, who seek vote in the name of public welfare, suddenly turn into shameless power hungry characters. There are chief ministers like Lalu Prasad involved in multi-crore scams. But his legislators never revolted when he was in power. In fact, we see MLAs, MPs rallying behind such scam stars. Who knows they have some share in the scams too. The whole AIADMK cried foul when their ‘Amma’ Jayalalithaa was sent to jail. The ‘caretaker’ chief minister had even named ‘Amma’ with gratitude in every other sentence during public speech.
The scene in Arunachal Pradesh cannot be without green signal from the BJP high command. It might result in transition in power. Given the political history of Arunachal Pradesh, even more Congress leaders might join the anti-Tuki campaign. But is it going to benefit in the long run? Is it going to help the party in Assam, the prime target? The party, after its debacle in Delhi and Bihar, needs to review its role in the political disturbance in Arunachal. If the nation blames Congress for holding the Parliament to ransom, the BJP also cannot shirk the responsibility in the affairs of Arunachal. Enough is enough. The people did not vote the MLAs/MPs to do what they are doing now.
(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on December 19, 2015)