The family business and dynastic politics of the Congress Party has been swept aside from the Northeast after 15 years of no visible progress. On Tuesday, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Govindas Konthoujam resigned from his post with eight other Congress MLAs, who are reportedly on their way to join the BJP today, reported ANI quoting sources.
Konthoujam happens to be a six-time consecutively elected Congress MLA from Bishnupur Assembly Constituency, Sonia Gandhi appointed him as the president of MPCC in December last year. He had served as a Cabinet Minister in Manipur. Back in June he attacked Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh for his “insensitivity and public mockery”. Stagnation in the party and a lack of progress are being cited as the main reason for his exit according to sources.
The resignation came as a shock to the Congress party, as they were already preparing for the polls early next year. Trying to put up a brave face amid the mass exodus Congress leader Gaikhangam Gangmei said that the defection of the MLAs would not weaken “the party in any way”. He also said those who chose to defect to the ruling BJP “lack political principles”.
Konthoujam said, “The Chief Minister was asking what the previous Congress governments had done for the state in 15 years. I want to ask him, wasn’t he a Cabinet minister in the Congress government led by Ibobi Singh?”
He further adds, Biren had also served as the Congress government’s spokesperson, how much money the state government had invested for the welfare of its people during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Why did the CM take Rs 167 crore through petrol from the people’s pockets during the pandemic instead of giving an economic package to the poor?”
In the 2017 polls, The Congress party had bagged more seats than the BJP but it nevertheless failed to cross the halfway mark of 31 and was unable to form an alliance to mark its claim to form a government. The BJP, on the other hand, racked up 21 seats but it was nimble enough to stitch alliances with other parties to form a government in the state.
Prior to 2016, out of the seven northeastern states the Congress had its monopoly over five states. Tripura had the Left Front ruling whereas Nagaland had a regional party in power. However, after the 2016 assembly polls in Assam, things have started to change as the Northeastern states started moving out of the web of the Congress party one after another.
The BJP, after coming to power in Assam, promoted a Northeast version of NDA, a platform of non-Congress regional parties. North-East Democratic Alliance or NEDA came to power in Manipur, replaced the Left Front in Tripura and finally formed the governments in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. The BJP was then voted back to power in Arunachal Pradesh in 2019. Congress finally lost all its power in the Northeast after it was defeated by the Mizo National Front (MNF) in 2018, which is a constituent of NEDA.
These states of North East were considered to be stronghold of Congress, and they believed that BJP’s Hindutva politics won’t work here, but BJP has changed the whole graph here. The Congress party’s history tells us that it cannot refrain itself from corruption. After 15 years of monopolistic rule in Assam followed by other northeastern states, the dynastic rule has finally come to an end as the BJP creates history by becoming the only non-congress government to win in consecutive years.