Thursday, April 25, 2024

TMC-Congress alliance at sea


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While the Trinamool Congress (TMC) members in Meghalaya seem keen to have some truck with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls, things are not hunky dory at the national level where the TMC is unwilling to cede more than two seats to the Congress in West Bengal in the upcoming polls. This is a dilemma that the INDIA bloc seems to be facing. It is a difficult proposition to get different parties to submit to the larger national interest simply because no party has the interest of the nation at heart. The leader of each party in the INDIA bloc, particularly Nitish Kumar, has prime ministerial ambitions. Mamta Banerjee too is not averse to leading the nation. Mallikarjun Kharge the Congress President is also the prime minister in waiting. This is precisely the problem with having too many disparate parties in one platform. It must be quite a task for the Congress to hold these incongruent elements together. There is always the possibility of a slip between the cup and the lip.
In Meghalaya the TMC has not been quite so vocal in recent times. One TMC MLA who kept the Government on its toes – George Lyngdoh lost the 2023 elections and has now gone silent. TMC supremo, Dr Mukul Sangma appears to be unsure if he will continue with the Party. Although he has hotly denied sending feelers to the BJP, it is still unsure as to what his next move will be. Will Dr Sangma himself be the Lok Sabha candidate from Tura under the TMC banner? Are the TMC members going to return to the Congress? These are all in the realm of speculations. The situation is fluid and the Congress Party does not seem to have a credible face to be their Lok Sabha candidate from Garo Hills. If Dr Mukul Sangma returns to the Congress fold, the grand old party in Meghalaya will get a shot in the arm. But is that likely to happen?
Coming to the Shillong seat, this time around it is not going to be a cakewalk for Congress chief Vincent Pala since he is pitted against Ampareen Lyngdoh of the NPP who seems to have garnered a substantial following since she is also presently the Health Minister visiting every nook and cranny of the State on the plea of upscaling health facilities. She is therefore a known face and once elections are announced she would not have much trouble jogging peoples’ memories about what she tried to do as a minister. To be fair to Ampareen Lyngdoh she has been the most pro-active Health Minister by far. If she wins the Lok Sabha polls it would be a loss for the State. In fact she is also the most visible face of the NPP after Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong and this within a very short span of time since she joined the NPP.
Politics is a slippery game and the Congress is facing an uphill task trying to keep the game of cards going. Besides, the INDIA bloc has to have a clear agenda other than just being anti-Modi.


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