EDITORIAL | Battle for GHADC is on: Will NPP retain power?
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
The election to the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), scheduled for April 8, will witness an intense battle between the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) and Congress.
Though there is a new entry in the fray, it is unlikely that the NPP or Congress would view the United Democratic Party (UDP), a Khasi-Jaintia based regional party and NPP ally, as a threat.
But let us not overlook the UDP campaigns right now, as the party is going all out to make its mark in Garo Hills - a region that has long eluded the UDP.
The party has also fielded 18 candidates out of 29, and the party’s top brass are already in Garo Hills to campaign for their candidates.
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The anti-incumbency factor will probably benefit the UDP, along with other parties, in some way or the other.
Unlike in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the voters of Garo Hills are usually unmoved by other parties and would often choose Congress or the NPP.
In the last assembly elections, the battle in the region was primarily a contest between these two national parties.
At present, both parties are campaigning aggressively in the region. The ruling NPP is looking at another term in the GHADC while Congress is certain of changing the tide and snatching the reigns from the Conrad Sangma-led NPP.
But let us not forget that the BJP, also an ally of the NPP, is another party looking to gain from the imbroglio in the GHADC.
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We may recall that the BJP had, over the past few months, been very vocal on issues concerning the GHADC.
It had been levelling allegations of corruption against the NPP-led Executive Committee in the Council, which caused an uproar in the region. This, of course, did not go down well with the NPP even as it maintained that the BJP, being a partner in the coalition (Meghalaya Democratic Alliance), should have brought it to tables before flashing it to the media.
The BJP has already laid its base in Garo Hills and hopes to make inroads into the region. Whether it bags any seat in the Council is left to be seen.
But one is clear – the battle between the NPP and Congress is certain.