Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Studied silence of TMC


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After the Lok Sabha election results on June 4, leaders of political parties that won the Shillong and Tura seats – namely the Voice of Peoples’ Party (VPP) and Congress respectively were quick to update the public on the reasons why they won and what they intend to do henceforth as representatives of the people in Parliament. The UDP too, despite losing the game did speak to the media and give reasons for why their candidate lost out. The one party that maintained and continues to maintain a studied silence is the Trinamool Congress.
The fact that the TMC could not field a candidate from the Shillong seat meant that there were no takers for the Party ticket, or if there were contenders, they were not winnable candidates. The TMC put up Zenith Sangma from the Tura seat but he managed to poll a mere 48,709 votes out of the total of 6,74,056 votes polled or just 7.23 % of the vote share. Saleng Sangma of the Congress polled 3,83,919 votes or 56% of the vote share. Agatha Sangma of the NPP managed 2,28 678 votes which is 33.93% of the vote share. It would appear therefore that the TMC has lost its support base in Garo Hills. This was bound to happen since the West Bengal based party never really had roots in Meghalaya. The few MLAs that won the Assembly elections in 2023 did so on their own personal charisma. Dr Mukul Sangma is a tall leader from the Garo Hills and a former Chief Minister and was expected to be able to carry the weight of the Party in Garo Hills. But in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills, the TMC State President, Charles Pyngrope has not been visible or audible. He is the lone MLA from the TMC from the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region. The other four are from Garo Hills. It is almost as if the TMC in this region is a lost cause.
Congress Party leaders have now publicly declared that they are ready to welcome back those that have left the Party, including Dr Mukul Sangma provided they continue to believe and invest in its philosophy. This can be seen as an open invitation to all former Congress members that had left the Party in a huff after the High Command appointed former Lok Sabha MP, Vincent Pala as the President. Pala has since lost his seat to the up and coming VPP whose candidate won with over 3.71 lakh votes. The TMC with its rapidly dwindling support is no match to fight either the Congress, the VPP or even the NPP in the next Assembly election in 2028. Rumours were doing the rounds that Dr Mukul Sangma might join the BJP and that he had been receiving feelers from the saffron party. Dr Sangma had hotly contested these rumours but he has to take a call sooner than later. Politics after all is a game of opportunities.


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