Congress in tatters
It is evident that the 2018 election will not be smooth sailing for the Congress Party in Meghalaya. Already there are internal rumblings and open dissensions including by those who are part of the MUA-2 Government. Clearly there is also a strong anti-incumbency factor. The National Peoples’ Party (NPP) is sending feelers to Congress dissidents who nurse a strong grouse against Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. The NPP would like to see a splintered Congress so that it capitalizes from that disarray. Since the NPP is sharing power with the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur it is only fair to expect that it would do the same in Meghalaya. But for now the NPP is more of a Garo-Hills based party. The party has not made sincere efforts to expand its base in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills although its President is from this part of the region and should know better.
The NPP’s two visible names are only those of Conrad and James Sangma. We hear of no other leader of stature from the Party. Hence the NPP is more of a personality based Party. Earlier it rode on the huge popularity of late PA Sangma who was a political Colossus. Now that this tall leader is no more it remains to be seen if his two sons can take the Party to greater heights. New political alignments which are anti-Congress are now emerging and the NPP aims to capitalize from the Congress’s predicament. By September this year we should be able to decipher how many sitting MLAs will jump fences and how many will remain Congress loyalists. But politics is not a game of loyalty; not indefinitely at least! There have been times when the Congress has been out of power and loyalists have stuck around only to reclaim their seats in the next elections. But that was then when the leadership took responsibility for the electoral defeat and immediately did a course correction to recover lost ground. This does not seem to be the case today. The Congress Party has been on a losing spree in election after election but the Party has not been able to face the moment of truth – that Rahul Gandhi has no leadership qualities and there is serious need for a leadership change! Alas no Congressman/woman worth their salt has the guts to take on the Nehru-Gandhi scion!. That’s the fatal flaw of the Congress.