Cong in dilemma over 2018 polls, strategy yet to emerge

2 years ago
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SHILLONG: An almost inactive Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) under the leadership of chief adviser to the State Government DD Lapang and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who still wishes to be in power for many more years despite the demand for change in leadership in the past, is the dilemma the State Congress is facing. […]

SHILLONG: An almost inactive Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) under the leadership of chief adviser to the State Government DD Lapang and Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who still wishes to be in power for many more years despite the demand for change in leadership in the past, is the dilemma the State Congress is facing. An otherwise powerful AICC, whose morale is currently at a low after the defeat of the party in a series of electoral battles, has no say on the matter.
The chief minister has already admitted that many legislators will desert the party, but did not indicate the measures to contain the move of the rebels to switch over to other parties ahead of the polls.
Political observers feel that Congress can still tide over the looming crisis if it appoints a new leader six months ahead of the elections as anti-incumbency is heavy against the Mukul Sangma-led Government.
The observers pointed out that while the Congress under the leadership of Sangma has not lifted the hopes of the people of the State, the party leadership under Lapang has not taken any corrective steps as the party functionaries were more loyal to the chief minister than listening to the voices of dissent.
The suspended Congress member, P.N Syiem, who is the CEM of KHADC, is a case in point.
Sources said Syiem was vocal before AICC and MPCC about the style and functioning of the chief minister.
According to sources, instead of addressing the grievances, MPCC chose to suspend Syiem for three years like in the case of former Congress leader R.G Lyngdoh several years ago.
Sources added that Lapang was acting on behalf of the chief minister, who secured the blessings of AICC leader in charge North East C.P Joshi as far as KHADC CEM was concerned.
Beyond the rebellion by Syiem, there were other Congress legislators who had aired varied grievances which went unheard.
A senior Congress leader admitted that corrective steps should have been taken by MPPC in the past and added that currently it is too late as election is nearing.
Sources added that without any clear strategy, the Congress is in a dilemma when it faces the electorate. Party functionaries feel that there is no cohesiveness in the State Congress.
Sources pointed out even the case of MPCC president Lapang whose few supporters from Nongpoh deserted him recently citing an inactive Congress leadership.
However, Lapang went on defending the party and the chief minister during a news conference following the crisis at the block level saying the Congress would emerge victorious.
Cong appoints minority observer for Meghalaya
With elections due in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram in 2018, the minority wing of the Congress is planning to play an active role in ensuring victory in the three states.
The minority department of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has appointed Congress ideologue from Assam Rejaul Karim Laskar as the observer for Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Mizoram to coordinate the activities of the minority departments in these three states and suggest necessary steps to ensure victory of the party in the upcoming polls.

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