Regional parties in Meghalaya could really benefit at the 2023 state elections with the Congress in total disarray, cabinet minister and president of the People’s Democratic Front (PDF), Banteidor Lyngdoh, told Highland Post today.
The minister also maintained that the Trinamool Congress, to which 12 sitting Congress MLAs defected last month, will not have much impact in Meghalaya.
Besides the 12 MLAs, there has been a string of resignations from the state Congress, the Indian Youth Congress and National Students Union of India.
Lyngdoh said the fact that people are leaving a once formidable party like the Congress is a golden opportunity for the regional outfits in the state to unite and emerge victorious in 2023 because they have a common ideology.
“If the people understand, they will give the regional parties an opportunity and will not opt for a new party like the TMC, which will hardly have much impact in the state,” he said.
Lyngdoh was of the opinion that the Congress had gained the upper hand over regional parties in years prior because of the division among the regional parties. “This time the division is between the Congress and the TMC and this is a golden opportunity for the regional parties to gain the upper hand,” he said.
The PDF has four MLAs, two of which are cabinet ministers (the other being Hamletson Dohling). Unlike some other parties in the ruling coalition, the PDF is not sharing cabinet berths among its legislators, prompting rumours that the two left out – Gavin Mylliem and Jason Sawkmie Mawlong – could quit ahead of the 2023 polls.
Stating that he is ready to give the cabinet post in 2023 to any of his party colleagues if it is for the betterment and upliftment of the indigenous people of the state, Lyngdoh said, “If the government of India has recognised Meghalaya as a special status state then I don’t think it’s necessary for us to always opt for the national party because perseverance and patience to stick by your principal pays more,” adding that jumping ship at every election only shows that one is a power-crazy person. Lyngdoh had himself formerly been with the Congress.
He also expressed confidence that the PDF is united and all the members intact, despite the rumours of disgruntlement.
Meanwhile, Lyngdoh said that the PDF at present is reorganising the youth zonal committees and strengthening the youth and they want the youth to come forward and speak up on the various issues affecting the people of Meghalaya.
He said that the party will also increase the number of seats it contests in 2023.