SHILLONG, Aug 30: In a significant development that can create fresh political ripples in Meghalaya, senior Congress leader and Shillong Lok Sabha MP Vincent Pala on Wednesday admitted of his party’s declining popularity in the State and said this is apparent from the desertion of its members.
Pala categorically said that party leaders have started to switch to other parties due to its dwindling popularity.
“The Congress party is now on the decline and that is the reason that people are running away from it,” Pala told The Sentinel over telephone from New Delhi.
On being asked about former Deputy Chief Minister and six-time Congress legislator Rowel Lyngdoh’s possible exit from the party, Pala said, “People may come and go, but I am clear that the decline of the party made them leave,” said the two-time Congress Lok Sabha MP.
Deputy Chief Minister in-charge of Law Rowell Lyngdoh and Health & Family Welfare Minister Alexander Hek were dropped from the Mukul Sangma’s Cabinet recently, following a directive from Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“People are now looking for smart power and governce,” he added.
Pala’s statement hinted that the Congress party in the State is likely to feel the heat ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections.
Sources said that the former Deputy Chief Minister is all set to join the tiolist People’s party (NPP).
“I don’t want to talk about Rowell Lyngdoh’s competence nor want to criticize him, but he is an experienced and sensible politician,” Pala pointed out.
These words further indicated the actual state of affairs within the State Congress leadership.
Two independent MLAs, who were with the Congress party too, have already joined the BJP on the ground that the State government is not living up to the expectations of the people in the coal-mining belts.
Pala himself is widely believed to be indirectly associated with the coal miners affected by the tiol Green Tribul ruling that banned the unscientific coal mining in the State.