Shillong: United Democratic Party (UDP) leader, Paul Lyngdoh today said that the entry of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) in Meghalaya is seen as a “vertical split” within the Congress in the state where it first became very strong.
Stating that the AITC was seen as an alternative to the BJP, he, however, said, “But in the case of Meghalaya, the perception and in fact the reality is that because of the split in the Congress reducing it to a mere shadow of its presence all these years so the AITC is now seen as an emerging challenger in the power politics of Meghalaya before 2023.”
Lyngdoh further stated that his immediate reading is that the AITC-Congress split will play a very significant role in the Garo Hills sector and especially with the Congress being reduced to just 5 MLAs in the Khasi Jaintia Hills sector and also the emerging news that MDCs are deserting the Congress.
He then said, “The AITC will have more bearing when it comes to Garo Hills because its chief architect, Dr Mukul Sangma has been instrumental in the victory record of the Congress party in the past two decades or so”. Lyngdoh told journalists this when asked if the entry of the AITC will impact other political parties in Meghalaya.
He however said, “But in the case of Khasi-Jaintia sector, I reiterate that our politics here has always been individually driven and based around personalities/candidates and not on political parties.”
He also predicted that Congress will be wiped out at least in the Garo Hills sector.
“(However) in the Khasi Hills sector, again I maintain that we need to do more analysis but the fact of the matter is that in this part of the state, elections have always been centred around individuals,” he added.
Whether the political development will be an advantage to the regional parties in Meghalaya, Lyngdoh said, “Definitely it will be an advantage to regional groups /parties because we now have when enemy camp or the other camp is split or divided then there is bound to be as has already happened, the exodus of workers and supporters and also the perception that is gaining ground as at one point of time, the general perception that regional parties will not and cannot unite but today it has been shown and demonstrated very clearly that national parties like the Congress could not remain united once they are out of power, it takes them just less than four years to be out of power for them to be divided in this manner.”
Whether running a new political party is a tough task, Lyngdoh, also a former president of the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) said, “It is difficult to first be on your feet and even more difficult to make imprints to that extent forming and sustaining a political party is not a walk in the park, it is a difficult task.”