oppn parties Meghalaya: Now Await the Politics of Jod-Tod

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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Meghalaya: Now Await the Politics of Jod-Tod

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-03-03 21:34:48

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Meghalaya, which has thrown up a hung assembly, will now become the latest hotspot for the politics of jod-tod. Political hustlers from both the BJP and the Congress have descended upon Shillong and the state capital will witness parleys where much more than politics will be discussed. After the recent debacles in such jod-tod in Goa and Manipur, the Congress is wary of conceding ground to the BJP and has sent bigwigs to Shillong to help Mukul Sangma in cobbling together an alliance to save their face in the north-east.

The situation in Meghalaya is peculiar. The Congress has got 21 seats (the majority mark is 31), while the NPP has got 19. The BJP has got just 2 seats but the NPP is an alliance partner in the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and they can form the government together. 17 from small local parties and independents have won. Although this is not surprising in this state as independents have usually won in high numbers (they won 13 seats in 2013), usually the Congress managed to win good enough seats to form the government. But with the party falling far too short this time, the key to the formation of the next government is in the hands of these local parties and independents.

Obviously, they will up the ante and make the national parties cough up enormous amounts for their support. They know that both the Congress and the BJP have much at stake. For the Congress, it is important to hang on to Meghalaya otherwise it will have no footprint in the north-east. Also, the Congress will be hard pressed to explain how it lost in states which have small Hindu population as its major plank against the BJP is that it is a Hindu party that polarizes voters according to religion for electoral gains. For the BJP gaining Meghalaya will complete its sweep of the region. Hence, the local parties and the independents are less likely to blink first in the negotiations. It is certain that whichever party fails to win their support will accuse the other of employing money power.

The people of Meghalaya will wait with fingers crossed and will hope to have a stable government in place in the next few days. The state needs a progressive government which can bring rapid development. Although largely hilly, the state has potential for industrial development in the region bordering Assam. The next government must put in place a favourable industrial policy to attract investment. There is no reason why Meghalaya cannot attract industrial investment when Assam can. Then there is tourism. Meghalaya is one of the most picturesque states in India. Sustained effort is needed from the state government to create tourism infrastructure to make it the favoured destination of both Indian and foreign tourists.