The ugly political battle has started ahead of the Meghalaya assembly elections slated next year. Despite its repeated claims that the ‘party is united’, it is for everyone to see that the Congress is not in order. Dropping of senior minister like Prestone Tynsong from the cabinet does not happen with a small fire, but an inferno, in the grand old party. Tynsong and Sniawbhalang Dhar have been in the news for their alleged move to abandon the Congress boat in the 2018 polls. The long they would be kept in the cabinet, the loyal troupe of chief minister Mukul Sangma will get more offended. When ‘everyone knows the duo would abandon the party’, what is the need for continuing the priviledge of a minister.
Tynsong and Dhar knew it was coming, and remained undeterred. But, as a shrewd politician, Tynsong said he will remain a Congress MLA and that his party’s goal for next year should be to cross the half-way mark. If not anything, politicians must have the capacity to tell this lie. Today, if he says he is leaving the Congress, his status of being an MLA will come under question. All his priviledges will be questioned. He will be strained to milk the government cow till the last droplet, before the election. After all, there is a lot more schemes still in his kitty to be delivered among his constituency people as pre-poll bonus.
While Congress is battling to save its rocking boat in the state, after ruling it for seven years, while the NP) is in the hunt for disgruntled Congress MLAs to be brought to its fold. In alliance, UDP and HSPDP would be looking to erode into Congress vote bank, but not MLAs as such. Attraction for the Congress dissidents towards NPP has been the latter’s strong hold at the Centre as well as in the state. Apart from Congress, no other party has this advantage. Not even the BJP, yet. It needs to be analysed what would be the saffron party’s game plan in view of the increased closeness between Congress’ disgruntled elements and the NPP.
(Published as The Meghalaya Guardian as editorial on August 5, 2017)