Parties on equal footing

Political dilemma ahead of Assembly polls

SHILLONG: With Congress facing anti-incumbency and internal bickering and a ‘mild’ Opposition with divided priorities, no political party has improved its position at a time when the State is just a year away from election.
Sources said that in this context, there is a move from some political leaders, who are not MLAs or MDCs, to float an alternate political outfit, but they are waiting for some leaders from other political parties to join them in the middle of this year or six months before the polls to strengthen the platform.
According to sources, in the current scenario, there is an uphill task for the Congress to emerge victorious as it has to fight heavy anti-incumbency and douse the differences within.
Sources, however, pointed out that the non-Congress parties are also facing the dilemma of whom to project as the next leader as every political party is keen to contest separately in the 2018 Assembly polls.
There is also criticism from several quarters that the Opposition parties – UDP, HSPDP, KHNAM, NPP and BJP – are yet to take an aggressive stand in bringing up issues confronting the State and also on exposing several drawbacks of the Congress-led MUA-II government.
Often, the media has to contact Opposition members to get their comments on burning issues concerning the State, including the recent sex-racket incident involving the 14-year-old girl, and Opposition parties have rarely spontaneously reacted to the commissions and omissions of the Congress-led government as well as on issues plaguing the State.
Moreover, the various alleged scams in KHADC and GHADC have not caught the attention of Opposition parties.
Political observers, however, have questioned the Congress government over the manner of governance for the last four years as many promises made by the MUA-II coalition in the State are are yet to be fulfilled.
Congress leader Zenith Sangma recently claimed that the party would emerge victorious despite all odds.
The same claims of forming the government on their own have also emerged from the leaders of political parties, including UDP, NPP and BJP.
Though suspended Congress leader and KHADC chief P.N Syiem in the past had mooted the idea of an alternate platform aimed at forming a new political party, nothing further has come from him regarding the matter in 2017.