Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Conrad vs Mukul: What’s buzzing in Meghalaya?


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SHILLONG, March 5: Despite improving its previous tally from 18 to 26 in the recently concluded Meghalaya elections, the NPP and it’s boss Conrad Sangma’s worries are far from over as Mukul vs Conrad duel is gaining momentum.

The post-poll potboiler is thickening with high drama amid twists and turns with each passing day. Trouble brewed for Conrad Sangma aftermath of the polls as the TMC leader Mukul Sangma orchestrated a move engaging anti-NPP and anti-BJP opposition parties which is giving sleepless nights to the NPP even though Conrad Sangma is all set for a swearning-in ceremony on March 7.

Mukul Sangma, who has been unrelenting in his attacks on the NPP-led government’s track record over the last five years in the run-up to the Meghalaya elections, again is keeping his guns trained on Conrad Sangma.
Earlier, the ex-CM Mukul was billed as someone who can replace Conrad as his support base was thought to have transcended ethnic divides, a rarity in a state where ethnicity often plays a major role in politics.

The BJP, which supported the NPP for the most part of its five-year tenure and parted ways just before the Meghalaya polls, bagged two seats and extended its support to the NPP on the day of the announcement of the result.

Two Independents and two MLAs of the Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP) also lent their support to the NPP.

In a twist in the government formation in Meghalaya, the HSPDP, in a letter shot to the Meghalaya Governor distanced itself from its two MLAs’ move to support Conrad Sangma-led NPP.

The HSPDP president K.P. Pangniang and secretary Panborlang Ryntathiang said, “The HSPDP did not authorise the two MLAs — Methodius Dkhar and Shakliar Warjri — to lend support to the NPP to pave the way for the government formation as we have seen through a media report.”

Meanwhile, Mukul Sangma stepped up anti-Conrad Sangma tirade making an all-out effort to stitch a coalition of like-minded parties to play spanner to Conrad’s attempt to form the government.

“We are confident of getting support from other parties except for the NPP and the BJP. Interests of Meghalaya, which has seen large-scale corruption during the tenure of the NPP government, are our only concern,” Sangma said.

For Mukul Sangma, cobbling up an alliance to deny Conrad Sangma a chance to form the government seems to be the main urgency. An ambitious politician, Mukul Sangma, however, refused to discuss the possibility of presenting himself as a possible CM face in case he manages to keep the flock together.

He evaded query from the media. “Other things can be decided later,” Sangma said. The urgency seems more than ever for the veteran leader to stay relevant in state politics after NPP’s good show in the poll.

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