Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

May 2010

Dr. Mukul Sangma was sworn in as the 21st Chief Minister of Meghalaya on the 25th of April 2010 thereby confirming the fact that the changing of guard in small states like Meghalaya will be a continuing practice. Apart from Mr. Salseng Marak, no other Chief Minister of Meghalaya has ever completed a full term of five years in office. This frequent change of guard only helps in decelerating the pace of development. The present Chief Minister who is by profession a doctor has taken a tough yet precarious stand as his first act. Immediately after taking oath, he has denotified all political appointees and had stated a few days later that nobody will enjoy the status of Chief Minister.

Meghalaya had in the recent past drawn a lot of flak because of the elevation of four politicians to the status of Chief Minister. The matter had raised many eyebrows and had even been taken up to the Lok Sabha as questions were raised as to whether such a situation was at all within the parameters of the Constitution of India.

The recent crisis in Meghalaya differed little from the earlier political crisis in the state; some may differentiate the two only by way of severity. While the earlier crisis was restricted to a problem of political equation, this time around it has taken on the form of a direct attack on the leadership of the ousted Chief Minister Mr. D. D. Lapang. It has been alleged that in spite of so many political appointments and four politicians enjoying the status of Chief Minister, Mr. Lapang could not keep power hungry ministers happy and thus maintain the political status quo.

In an era of collusion politics, self preservation and tenacity have become an art-form and necessary prerequisites of any politician. With more and more people aspiring to hold ministerial posts besides getting hold of portfolios which have greater significance and impact, a scramble for power is the order of the day in Meghalaya politics. Satisfying all these aspirants at the same time is impossible and as such, a recurrence of this problem is very likely as the green eyed monster rears its ugly head time and time again.

Mr. Lapang has rightly said that for a small state like Meghalaya, the main cause of political instability is the fact that there can only be 12 ministerial berths in the state at one time and these are highly coveted positions. Under such circumstances, appeasement of everyone is simply not possible.

Through all this humdrum and with aspiring politicians waiting for the first sign of trouble, it will be interesting to see how the new Chief Minister manages to keep all elements under control.

Dr.K. K. Jhuhjhunwala