The congress party is facing a formidable rival in the upcoming elections in the form of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The NCP got a new lease of life with the decision of Northeast stalwart Mr. Purno Agitok Sangma tojump into the politics of the state. Smaller parties consisting of the regional parties are leaving no stone unturned to make their presence felt and their performance will decide the fate of the next government. Long time rivals of the congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also raring to enter the fray and emerge from the political melee with a result better then its two seat capture in the last election.  Parleys are going on in various levels within the smaller parties to forge alliances. The main player, the congress party which won the maximum number of seats in the last Assembly elections is trying to regain power by increasing its fold by engaging in campaigns in all the nooks and corners of the state.

This struggle for the power is going on in spite of various problems plaguing the political parties vying for dominance. The Congress Party, by not endorsing Mr. Rymbai who is the former Chief Minister of the state and a congress party member has led to his quitting the party and the raising of questions among the public about the unity of the Congress party members. The congress is also plagued by the rift between MP P.R. Kyndiah’s son, Mr. Waibha K. Kyndiah and KHADC Chief Executive Member (CEM) H. S. Shylla. In losing his candidature to Mr. Kyndiah, Mr. Shylla has played his hand by raising the Lineage Act issue, one that has backfired and blown up in his face as the general public is greatly opposed to the said Act being implemented. The congress has also suffered a blow with the decision of Mr. R. G. Lyngdoh not to contest the upcomingelections. The United Democratic Party (UDP) also has not been without its share of problems with unrest rising within the party over the allotment of a seat to Ms Ampareen Lyngdoh, Mr. R. G. Lyngdoh’s sister, for the prestigious Laitumukhrah Constituency. In spite of all this turmoil, the Congress Party president Mr. Nongtdu believes that the regional parties lack vision and that the congress party will regain power.

Unlike the elections held in previous years, this up coming election, with the surrender of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council’s (HNLC) chairman Mr. Julius Dorphang is expected to run its course without any underlying threat from any organizations.

A recent survey conducted by Eastern Panorama on the political moods of the people has brought to light a very noticeable lack of faith in our politicians. This loss of faith is especially felt within the age group of 21 to 35 years, an age group which consists of our future leaders and role models. If the politicians of today do nothing to curb this disturbing sentiment surfacing in today’s youths, one can only imagine the social horrors that this will lead to in generations to come. The responsibility lies not only with the leaders, it rests also in us, the general public who play an integral part in shaping society and deciding what is socially acceptable and what is not.

Meghalaya is right now going through a period where there is never before seen scope for vast development. It is our duty therefore to bring to power dynamic visionaries. Let our votes not be guided by greed and selfishness but let us take this opportunity to become heralds of a new age of peace and prosperity.

Jogesh Doley