Saturday, June 15, 2024

Apex panel may imperil Mukul’s prospects


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From CK Nayak

 NEW DELHI: The 13-member Election Co-ordination Committee set up by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in view of the upcoming Assembly polls in Meghalaya reveals more contradictions within the beleaguered party than it can hide, analysts have said, while adding that the composition of the panel would jeopardise the chances of incumbent Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma.

To begin with, the apex Committee seems to be top less and bottom heavy with no State stalwarts at the helm of affairs except for MPCC President Friday Lyngdoh who is only the convener of the committee, while the rest are all members.

As reported by The Shillong Times on Wednesday, the AICC list includes leaders from all the three major tribes of the state (Khasis, Garos and Jaintias).

An analysis shows that there are atleast half-a-dozen contenders for the Chief Minister’s post within the committee itself which includes the incumbent Dr Mukul Sangma besides two former Chief Ministers — DD Lapang and Salseng C Marak.

Dr Mukul Sangma will face a stiff battle in his home turf of Garo Hills, with his known critic Congress working president Deborah Ch Marak and sacked Minister FW Momin finding a place in the committee besides SC Marak. There would be a tight rope walk to bring back the Independents from the Garo Hills even though the sitting MLAs would be given tickets in most cases.

In Khasi hills there are stalwarts like Friday and Lapang themselves besides former Union Minister PR Kyndiah, Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh and former National Commission for Women Member Wansuk Syiem. But to their woes two top leaders from Jaintia Hills, Union Minister of State Vincent Pala and State Minister RC Laloo are also eyeing the top job.

Laloo was looked upon as an alternative during the crisis the party faced in the recent past but had no support then. Pala who is acceptable to many could emerge as a strong contender in the event of a no clear majority.

Analysts believe that the Committee was formed to lead the party to victory in the upcoming polls but it seems that the apex committee would fail to end the infighting among the warring factions within the State Congress which remained as an undercurrent despite several interventions from the party high command.

The AICC decision is also seen as an attempt to clip the wings of the State leaders of all factions so that in the coming polls the party does not suffer from infighting as is being widely apprehended.

The resurgence of the UDP and preparedness of the NCP has also unnerved the ruling party which would be attempting a hattrick.

On top of all odds, delimitation of constituencies has prompted many sitting legislators to eye alternative constituencies.


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