Is ‘Manipur virus’ active in M’laya?


SHILLONG: Is Meghalaya politics on the threshold of catching the “Manipur virus”? Is another political rumbling in the offing?
Coming closely after the resounding victory of the ruling MDA at the Rajya Sabha election, these posers may sound too farfetched. But then, what appears to be incontrovertible is that there are murmurs of dissent within the MDA government, while the hungry Opposition Congress is waiting in the wings.
If top leaders of the Congress party are to be believed, a few members of the National People’s Party have already made overtures to some Congress MLAs about working together in the state by dropping smaller parties which are supporting the alliance.
Some Congress leaders on condition of anonymity on Friday made no bones that the top leadership of NPP has become exasperated with the smaller parties supporting the alliance are being seen as liabilities to the alliance.
A source disclosed that recently a section of ministers from the smaller parties supporting the alliance approached Chief Minister Conrad Sangma asking him to do something as many ministers were trolled for their underperformance during the Assembly session. They pleaded with the chief minister to end the live coverage of the sessions to shield the slip-shod ministers.
According to the source, Conrad Sangma made it clear nothing can be done in this regard and instead asked them to improve their performance in the Assembly.
This stand of the chief minister seems to have made some ministers furious.
Later top leadership of NPP also held discussion to explore the idea of jettisoning the smaller parties and instead have a robust coalition with NPP working together with the Congress.
The Congress leaders maintained that the top leaders of NPP made an offer to some Congress MLAs to see if NPP and Congress can work together.
However, Congress leaders say that the offer from NPP till now has not been directly discussed with the CLP leader, Mukul Sangma though the information has been shared with the former chief minister.
“Right now the ball is in our court,” a Congress MLA said while adding that they want Mukul Sangma to accept the offer and work with the NPP in view of 2023 Assembly elections.
The Congress leaders say that Mukul so far has not spoken on the matter with the party MLAs directly and he is yet to make his stand clear till now as according to the MLAs, they were informed by those who are close to Mukul that attempts have been made by some other Congress MLAs to woo the smaller parties to support Congress.
When asked if Congress MLAs would bypass Mukul if he does not accept the proposal, the MLAs said that they are willing to bypass as they want to be in the government and work for the betterment of the state.
While the move is nebulous and in nascent stage right now, only heightened political activities in the coming weeks will definitely bear testimony to the shape of things to come. It will only be seen in days to come if Congress party has really received an offer from the NPP to work together or is it trying to send a message to the junior coalition partners who are extracting more than contributing much.
NPP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong completed rubbished the matter as mere rumours to disintegrate the MDA coalition which, according to him, stands united and strong.
A former Congressman himself, Tynsong suspected that the Congress was out to create confusion and rift among the MDA partners. He saw no possibility of formation any new political equation in the state.
“The MDA partners are firm and have reaffirmed to be together till the end and everyone is mature enough to understand rumours”, he said.