BJP’s winning streak in the recent assembly elections is the testimony to its popularity and performance that the nation trusts, much to the bewilderment of its rivals, the Congress which failed to make a dent. The Congress performance in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections was just enough to save its maligned reputation of aimless leadership lacking focus and strategy. Thanks to Rahul Gandhi’s swift appointment as Congress President to save the legacy of the party which is bound to rest in “good hands”.
But looking at the saffron brigade’s wholesome performance, Congress certainly has to work harder to stake a claim in national politics.
Now that the focus of the assembly elections has turned towards the north east, where the BJP has already proven its mettle in Assam, Manipur and the civic polls in Arunachal Pradesh , a huge set back has struck the Congress, as five of its legislators in Meghalaya have quit the party to join the BJP ally, the National People’s Party (NPP).
Among the illustrious legislators who quit the assembly consists of former Deputy CM Rowell Lyngdoh. On Friday five of the legislators including Rowell-Prestone Tynsong, Coming One Ymbon, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Ngaitlang Dhar submitted their resignation letters to Assembly commissioner and secretary Andrew Simon.
The NPP has two members in the Meghalaya assembly.
National People’s Party (NPP) was founded by former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma is an ally of the BJP-led national alliance NDA and also a part of BJP-led government in Manipur.
Now the Congress force has been reduced from 30 to 24 in the 60 member Meghalaya assembly.
These mass resignations followed when a Congress legislator Pynshngian N Syiem, who was suspended from Congress in 2016 for “anti-party activities”, resigned from the assembly to join a newly floated party People’s Democratic Front (PDP).
Mr. Syiem is also the chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council.
Besides five Congress MLAs three other legislators, Remington Pyngrope from United Democratic Party and independents Hopeful Bamon and Stephanson Mukhim also quit their posts as MLAs.
These eight legislators will reportedly join NPP at a public rally scheduled on 4th January.
Speaking on behalf of all the MLAs who laid down their resignations, former cabinet minister Prestone Tynsong, stated, “We (Congress legislators) have put in our papers since the leadership (Chief Minister Mukul Sangma) in the state has failed to meet the aspirations of the people, besides his inappropriate style of functioning.”
As if this was not enough to make the Congress house weaker, some veteran Congress legislators to name-state Congress president and four-time chief minister DD Lapang, incumbent deputy chief minister Roytre Christopher Laloo and health and family welfare minister Roshan Warjri — have been declared “retired” from electoral politics.
These successive resignations are certainly going to fall heavy on the Congress side as it has retained power in Meghalaya for past 15 years.
This strong hold is gradually being eclipsed by the BJP which is plotting alliances with regional parties, to grab a whopping vote share like Assam last year and Manipur this year.
Next in line are Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya, where elections are scheduled in March 2018.
As the saffron wave slowly reaches the north east, Congress’ chances of winning elections become slim and grim unless it brings in a serious overhaul.