Poll outcome to ensure check and balance in coalition

From C K Nayak

NEW DELHI: The MDA partners were worried that NPP’s victory in Ranikor would have made the ruling party more powerful and less dependent on the allies.
The Shillong Times spoke to several coalition leaders from the regional parties who said both the Congress and NPP would have gone “out of control” if either of their candidates had won.
There was a growing feeling among the alliance partners that NPP’s victory would have triggered more Congress legislators to resign and join the party making it stronger and less dependent on allies.
The by-polls results will help coalition partners to be more co-operative and considerate. But if BJP becomes weak in the next rounds of the assembly and the Lok Sabha elections next year, the coalition in Meghalaya will be in grave danger, analysts feel.
Besides the Congress, regional parties too worked hard to defeat Martin M Danggo and helped in the victory of UDP’s Pius Marwein.
The NPP miscalculated its chances in Ranikor and was over-confident about the five-time MLA’s win. Many leaders the reporter spoke to said NPP failed to gauge the possibility of division of votes for Danggo.
“If there would have been no UDP candidate and NPP would have been supported by all the alliance parties like in the case of South Tura, Danggo would have certainly won going by the poll figures. But that was not the ground situation and there was no division of anti-Danggo votes which the NPP failed to read”, they said.
Also, most of the NPP top leaders remained holed up in South Tura where chances of the party’s win were high. In the process, Ranikor was neglected.
Now the NPP seems to be in a tight spot as UDP’s Pius Marwein has won from Ranikor and there is a demand from senior leader Bindo Lanong for a ministerial berth for the first-time MLA.
If it does not provide a berth, it may snowball into a bigger issue within the coalition and if Pius is accommodated, it will send a wrong signal to its own aspirants and cadres.
However, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has already made it clear that there is no more room in the Cabinet to accommodate Marwein.

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