meghalaya CM

Can Congress secure Garo Hills, battle own demons?

January 21, 2018

As the Congress prepares to retain power in Meghalaya in the upcoming election, one of its last bastions in the country, internal dissension is being said to be one of the crucial challenges for the grand old party.

For chief minister Mukul Sangma , who has been in power since 2010 over two terms, keeping his flock together is one of two major objectives in what promises to be a frenetic month, say political commentators.The main challengers in the state are the National People’s Party (NPP), founded by former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, and the BJP.

While the NPP and the BJP are allies at the Centre and in Manipur, they are contesting the Meghalaya election on their own.The message coming out from within the Congress is that it is crucial for the chief minister to retain Congress’s hold in the Garo Hills seats if Mukul Sangma has to remain as chief minister for the next term.

Garo Hills, Sangma’s home turf, has 24 assembly seats.In the 2016 Tura parliamentary constituency bypolls, Congress was virtually decimated in almost all the seats.

NPP chief and former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma’s son, Conrad K Sangma, secured victory, while the chief minister’s wife, Dikkanchi D Shira, lost on a Congress ticket.”Maintaining Congress’s hold in Garo Hills is a must for the chief minister.

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