Cong leadership tussle likely to intensify

From CK Nayak

NEW DELHI: The succession war for the post of Congress President might intensify on Monday rather than ending the feud, even after the AICC called a zoom video meeting at the MLAs hostel in the afternoon.
The Zoom meeting over removal of the incumbent PCC President, Dr Celestine Lyngdoh is likely to be acrimonious with sharp division among the party MLAs over the important issue.
In the absence of unity and unanimity, any concrete decision is unlikely on Monday, party sources said.
Typical of Congress internal squabble, while nobody denies that the party has not been a vibrant opposition under Lyngdoh’s leadership and there is not much opposition to Charles Pyngrope either since he held several important posts including that of Speaker and now AICC Secretary in-charge of Manipur, the possibility of a consensus looks remote right now.
A compromise proposal was floated to create a post of effective number two next to PCC President allowing Lyngdoh to continue. But that idea has already fallen through since there are already two Working Presidents — MP Vincent H Pala and senior party leader James Lyngdoh.
But factions within Congress do not seem to want a smooth succession because of ego and ambition of the MLAs.
Hence, on Monday at 3.30 pm when the legislators are herded to a meet at MLAs Hostel no one knows who will support whom and even it remains to be seen how many take part in the meeting.
Pala, who is stationed in the state for a long time, is keeping his cards close to his chest.
He will, however, take part in the video conference from his home in Shillong.
Meanwhile, Mukul’s opposition to Charles has come out in the open, since the MLAs have approached the party high command.
Considering his closeness to Luizinho Faleiro and his position as CLP leader, Mukul’s views will carry importance for sure.
But since the PCC President has to be from Khasi Hills as he himself is from Garo Hills, Mukul does not have much choice on the post of PCC President.
But considering that the legislators have gone directly to the AICC, he might rather favour continuance of the present incumbent.
Interestingly, Celestine Lyngdoh has kept himself aloof from either faction till now.
He reminded his party legislators who met him recently that he was a reluctant choice in the first place and wanted to resign after the party’s defeat two years ago!

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