Many challenges ahead for party-led Govt till next polls
SHILLONG: From just 2 seats in 2013 Assembly elections to 21 currently, the rise of NPP was phenomenal thereby getting the national party status.
However, varied challenges await the NPP- led government till it faces the next Assembly polls.
Besides securing victory in Meghalaya, the NPP has also expanded its presence in other Northeastern states especially in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh by having MLAs. Adding to its strength, the NPP has also retained Tura Lok Sabha seat by defeating Congress leader Mukul Sangma.
It was struggling time for late PA Sangma ahead of 2013 Assembly polls in Meghalaya when he launched NPP in Meghalaya though the party was originally from Manipur.
After the Assembly polls in 2013, the NPP leaders, including Purno, had admitted that they did not get enough time to spread the activities of the party at the grass root level thereby facing defeat. James Sangma and Nihim Shira from NPP were the only two MLAs in the Assembly then.
This gave opportunity for then Chief Minister Mukul to challenge NPP by stating that in the next polls, they will be wiped out.
After the 2013 polls, in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014, Purno retained Tura seat but the party could not expand much both in Meghalaya and elsewhere in the country. The district council elections followed in 2015 and though the party secured maximum seats to form the executive committee in GHADC, defections affected the party as the state was ruled by the Congress led coalition then.
The NPP leader Purno also made an attempt to make Conrad Sangma as the CEM in GHADC by way of nomination, but this was unsuccessful.
In 2016, the sudden demise of Purno in March gave way for Conrad to contest the by-poll and win the seat with a record margin.
In the next two years, the NPP was rejuvenated and in the Assembly elections in 2018, the party secured 19 seats. Later in the by-polls, the party secured 21 seats.
The victory in Meghalaya boosted the party to win some seats in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh Assembly polls.
With NPP getting recognition as 8th national party in India and the first from the Northeast, the challenges are many for the party, admitted the NPP national president and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma.
The challenges are on the home front as the Congress with 19 legislators is united to take on the NPP on issues like Harijan Colony, CAB and entry-exit points besides other law and order problems especially crime against women and children.
After one year in governance, the NPP-led government is yet to ensure better law and order situation in the state.