Time to strengthen party at grassroot level : Better prepare for 2022
It was overt, it was loud and it seemed like a script prepared for the big screen to draw in the crowd, with those raising the voice of dissent pulling up their sleeves to deliver the knock out punch. Not exactly a script drawn from one of the potboilers from Hollywood or Bollywood or Maniwood but looking back, the comparison ran somewhat close to what one sees on the big screen or as is the case now on the idiot box. The spoiler was obviously the ending part, which unlike many of the potboilers came as an anti-climax with those who had pulled up their sleeves meekly returning Home seemingly ‘chastened.’ However it seems the Delhi audience and the free air ride to the National capital did not have enough steam to effectively silence the voice of dissent for just two weeks later one heard a dissenting voice over the portfolios allotted. No dearth of drama, albeit of the political kind, in these days of coronavirus and more coronavirus and this is where one would seriously like to question whether this is the time for this type of drama or whether attention should be on how to strengthen one’s party ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled in the early part of 2022. The NPP is young, very young, but surely it could not have been the type of politics that one sees here which has propelled it as the most prominent local political face in the North East. Founded sometime in 2013 under the late PA Sangma, it soon rose to become an important player in the North East region and apart from heading the Government at Meghalaya, it is an important partner in the Governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. In the said four States in North East India, it has a total of 31 MLAs among 240 MLAs.
This is the time that the NPP should be concerned with strengthening the party in Manipur. With four MLAs in the House of 60, it became an important partner in the BJP led Government at Imphal along with the NPF, but in just a little over 3 years of being a partner in Government, it showed that it has not yet learnt how to be a junior partner in a coalition Government. This is a point which must have registered in Conrad Sangma the strongman of the party. Now is the time for the party to sit down and study how it can strengthen its base instead of squabbling over portfolios and catering to individual likes and dislikes. This is an opportunity for the party to rise and see if it can fill the void created by the buffoonish steps taken by the Manipur People’s Party earlier and become a major player between the BJP and the Congress in Manipur. Tragic it is that a party which has its headquarters at Meghalaya and a party which can listen to the local heartbeats of the people want to drown itself in pursuit of agendas which may not have anything to do with the interest of the land and the people. They have come back to the BJP led coalition and now is the time for them to buck up and realise that the blow hot, blow cold antics no longer amuse the people, much less inspire confidence. Less than 18 months away for the Assembly elections in 2022 and the antics played so far can only have detrimental effects on the health of the party.