Attrition in Meghalaya Congress

The Congress Party in Meghalaya seems to be losing its members faster than they can count.  Across the state Congress Party members are resigning and joining the National Peoples’ Party (NPP). There’s something that attracts people to the NPP. It looks attractive as every party in power tends to do. Being in the Congress now is being in the doghouse. Those in business (and which politician isn’t) find the going tough. Contract works are all cornered by those close to the MDA Government. So what’s the point in hanging on to a train that has neither speed not gravy? It makes sense to be on the winning side. And judging by the manner in which the Congress leadership at the national level is dithering with senior leaders having to come to the rescue of Rahul Gandhi and defend his verbal indiscretions, it doesn’t look as if a revival of the Party is in the offing. At the national level Congressmen and women have to deal with the BJP and its muscular and authoritarian nationalism but they find that the leadership is not up to that challenge. At the state level too, the Congress has not been able to decide on a leader who people can rally round. There is not even an official spokesperson. Every Congress MLA seems to speak for himself/herself. Clearly there is a leadership void and the Party cannot be revived in this vacuum.

The Congress Party in Meghalaya is also hamstrung by the fact that at the national level there is no intent to infuse democracy in the Party by holding elections to the highest body – the All India Congress Committee and to do away with the practice of nominating leaders. To give credit where due, the Congress Party in Meghalaya has discharged its role as a credible Opposition and raised important issues in the House from time to time. They have within their fold some dynamic, young, politically savvy and intellectually robust legislators. It would be an immeasurable loss if the attrition is not halted. Unfortunately, it appears that the leadership is not up to this challenge. And politics being what it is, preparations for 2023 are already under way.

Political aspirants are gauging whether it is politically viable to continue to remain in the Congress or whether it is better to be on the winning side. Politicians cannot be accused of political opportunism. To be in the Government is also to be able to serve the constituents better. Look at the constituencies represented by Congress MLAs today and the development vacuum to understand why being in the ruling party is important.  Also the burning question is whether the Congress Party is salvageable.

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