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Will Conrad become M’laya’s Rijiju?

SHILLONG:  The resounding victory of P.A. Sangma’s younger son Conrad Sangma over the ruling Congress in Tura by-election has sparked a legitimate speculation in political circles here about his possible entry into the Union council of ministers.
Whether or not Prime Minister Modi will eventually graft him in to the ministry is still in the realm of speculation. But a few unmistakeable portents are evident.
There is going to be an imminent vacancy in the ministry; Sarbananda Sonowal is expected to assume the office of Chief Minister in Assam. Since this vacancy is going to be filled up by somebody from the North East, it gives grist to the speculation mills that the choice may fall on Conrad Sangma.
That the Prime Minister’s first choice for his team is young minds with no baggage is known to all. The way he sidelined former Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and our own Purno A. Sangma when it came to ministry making, makes it crystal clear that Narendra Modi is looking for fresh talents.
Taking into account the way Kiren Rijiju as junior home minister has enacted a near perfect political coup in Arunachal Pradesh, it may not be out of place to imagine that the leadership vacuum of BJP in Meghalaya may be filled up by investing on Conrad Sangma.
Observers say that the way BJP top brass campaigned for Conrad should leave no doubt in anybody’s mind that the PM sees in him a perfect foil for the Congress leadership in Meghalaya, particularly in Garo Hills.
That the State elections are one and half years away would be preying heavily in the minds of BJP leadership! If Congress has to be decimated in Meghalaya, as Modi seems to be hell bent on, a berth for Conrad might do the trick.
Conrad’s clean image apart, his brief interlude as minister in charge of heavy portfolios like Finance, Power etc., will hold him in good stead. He is educated enough and can articulate the aspirations of the tribes of the North East.
What is for sure is that his identity as the son of P.A. Sangma can be a clinching qualification for the trust BJP is showing in him.
According to a metro media report, Prime Minister will rejig his cabinet now that elections in five states are over. There are reports that at least three non-performing ministers would be dropped.
All eyes will now be on Modi whether or not his choice would fall on Conrad whom his illustrious father placed much hope on.

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