Blogs - Insignificant Pieces

Meghalaya in a political soup, heading for yet another hung assembly?

by Insignificant Pieces

With the assembly elections knocking at its door, the political circle has been very busy lately in Meghalaya. The strategic take-over of the saffron brigade in Northeast one state at a time, has surely created a ruckus at other political camps particularly the Congress. It is noteworthy here that, the Congress enjoys a stronghold in Meghalaya given its performances in the past. But with the current trend and the emergence of lotus in the region, it seems that the state, if not least, is headed for yet another hung assembly?

We have seen how the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader have danced to the tunes of rock classics recently in Meghalaya. But the good old days of fun & frolic seems to be far over as only a year is left for the assembly elections in the state. Given this fact, all the political camps are seen having hectic parleys and meetings to chalk out their game plan for the coming elections. This year, however, it would not be wrong to expect major changes in the election strategy of many a parties, as the recent saffron wave in the region seems to be giving nightmares to the state’s political giants.

Over the years, the state which once saw turmoil over non-Khasi, education board, land acquisitions, uranium mining, and many such issues; is today one of the most peaceful and touristy attraction of the region. It is but a fact that the Congress played a major role in the last decade to re-shape the young state towards development and peace. Congress off-late however, has been, in headlines for all the wrong reasons. The debacle started as it firstly saw the clash between two giants the current Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma and his predecessor Dr. D D Lapang. The party has always denied about this riff between the two; however the turn of events was enough for the people to make the right guesses. That was not all Dr Sangma who ultimately succeeded Lapang to the throne, could but only muster controversies in the short regime he has enjoyed. From he being a non-tribal to his policies on key state issues has gone drastically wrong. Given these facts the Congress that enjoyed a full majority, at one stage, today have been reduced to run a coalition government with the help of some party-jumping leaders and independents. After years of it enjoying the mandate and the cabinet, the anti-incumbency factor also creeps in for the Congress camp to haunt it day and night.

As if all these were not enough, the rise, fall and rise of Conrad Sangma is another factor that all parties will not be taking lightly. Son of the political stalwart, late Purno A Sangma, Conrad who is an MP and also the chief of National Peoples’ Party is one of the key candidates and leaders to watch out for in this election. Off-late his proximity to the BJP camp at the center is also indicative that something might be brewing for the upcoming Assembly polls. Conrad, who belongs to a deep political family enjoys quite a good rapport among the Garo Population and is also seen as a young dynamic leader of the state. It wouldn’t be wrong to mention that Conrad Sangma might become the frontrunner in upcoming elections if all his equations fit right.

Having said all this, how can one not talk about the saffron brigade which has gained quite a good rapport among the people in the state post ‘Modi-fication’. However, it will be interesting to see BJP’s strategy as it does not have much impact on the seats tally in Meghalaya so far. Given the fact that some of its policies, which have been monitored by the people of the state, during its other campaigns such as beef ban, Hindutva, strategically placing Government feature dates on Christian ceremonial events, banning the visa of Missionaries have not gone down so well with the common mass. This makes the rise of the BJP more spicy in the state. But given the current trend of its neighbors it seems that the party is ready to rope-in political giants from its camp during its campaign which might turn the tide to its favor as it has in the other elections across the nation.

In between all this, it is worth mentioning that a huge uproar is being created by the regional parties who might act as the king makers in this election. As all the major parties do not enjoy a full majority rapport among the masses it will not be wrong to say that the smaller regional parties with its star faces might just steal the show this time over. With most of the regional parties, or at least a handful of them, coming together under a pre-poll alliance it might just work its magic in getting close to the throne.

Be what be, what is sure for a fact is that currently the state stands divided in its mind about its mandate and only time will tell who rules the roost. As the politics in this state has always been interesting and unpredictable, yet again, it seems it will live up to its name. With the state going in elections next year not only the political camps but even the masses are gradually getting ready for its mandate.

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