Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Congress beset by problem of plenty


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By Lamphrang Nongspung

SHILLONG: With elections in the State due in a couple of months, majority of the political parties are waiting for the Congress party’s list of candidates before announcing the names of their respective party candidates.

There are indications that political parties like KHNAM, NCP, Trinamool Congress and others are looking to get hold of those Congress leaders who would be left out of the list of Congress candidates.

In all probability, some Congress leaders would be deprived of the tickets since the party is facing a ‘problem of plenty’ with more than one ticket aspirant in several constituencies like Pynursla, Umroi, Mawthadraishan, Rajabala and Phulbari.

In Pynursla constituency, there are indications that former legislator KK Dkhar would be contesting from some other party since it is almost certain that the Congress ticket would go to Forest and Environment Minister Prestone Tynsong.

Informed sources revealed that Dkhar has already held dialogues with KHNAM and NCP.

Dkhar’s decision to contest from any party other than the Congress would be a huge setback for the party since there would be a vertical split in the Congress votes in the constituency.

In Umroi, there are possibilities that other political parties would approach sitting legislator Stanly Wiss Rymbai who might be overlooked by the party which is keen on awarding the ticket to prominent coal baron from Jaintia Hills Ngaitlang Dhar.

Supporters of Rymbai have already protested against the purported move of the Congress to award the ticket to Dhar.

In Mawthadraishan, two former Congress legislators – Irin Lyngdoh and Boldness L Nongrum – are embroiled in a direct fight for the party ticket.

With indications that Nongrum might be awarded the ticket, many political parties have already approached Lyngdoh to contest the 2013 polls on their tickets.

The Congress is also facing a similar dilemma in some constituencies in Garo Hills.

In Rajabala, sitting Congress legislators Sayeedullah Nongrum and Abdus Saleh from Mahendraganj are contenders for the party ticket, while in Phulbari, Power Minister AT Mondal, an associate member of the Congress Legislature Party and former Congress Minister Manirul Islam Sarkar are both keen to contest on a Congress ticket.

There were reports that Trinamool had already approached Sarkar to contest from the party since the Congress was ‘poised’ to allot the party ticket to Mondal.

Interestingly, even the UDP is trying to rope in sitting Congress MDC Lambor Malngiang to contest from Nongkrem constituency if he is denied the ticket by his party.

With the UDP already making up its mind to dump its sitting legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, there are reports that the party has already offered the ticket to Malngiang.

The other aspirant for the Congress ticket is former Minister Draison Kharshiing from the MDP.

The Congress’ dilemma could prove to be a blessing in disguise for other political parties who would be eyeing to award tickets to those Congress leaders who have the potential to defeat the ‘official candidate’ of the Congress.

The political parties would be hoping for a repeat of the situation in Manipur during the last Assembly polls in the State in March where some rebel candidates of the Congress, after being denied party tickets contested from the Trinamool and won the elections.

Trinamool Congress, which had debuted in Manipur, emerged as the second largest party managing to win as many as seven seats in the 60-member House.

Recently, during an informal interaction with media persons, leaders of different political parties revealed that many Congress leaders who were unsure of getting the party tickets had ‘approached’ them.

Earlier, NCP president Sanbor Shullai had also claimed that there are many leaders from the Congress who have approached him for allotment of tickets.

Even KHNAM president Pyndapborthiaw Saiborne had made the same revelation.

Despite queries, both the leaders were reluctant to reveal the names of those Congress leaders who had approached them.


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