For a party which once dominated the political landscape of entire Northeast, i.e All India Congress Committee Congress is now struggling to survive in the sprawling region.
The defection of six Congress legislators in Tripura to the Trinamool Congress — which has reduced the party to the third spot in the State assembly, is the latest jolt the country’s oldest party has suffered in the Northeast.
Only last month, the Congress lost political control of Assam, the biggest state in the region, to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is confident of expanding its wings in the region — in contrast to the feeble future the Congress stares at.
‘Organizational weakness and lack of leadership have seen the Congress in a bad shape in the Northeastern States including Tripura,’ political analyst and writer from Tripura Sanjib Deb told media, adding, ‘After the BJP captured power for the first time in Assam, keeping this victory as a milestone, the party is in a jubilant mood in all the eight northeastern states and aims to step up its activities in the region.’
Earlier, in mid-February, the Congress government was toppled in Arunachal Pradesh. Rebel Congress legislator Kalikho Pul ousted Nabam Tuki to became Chief Minister with the support of 31 MLAs, including 18 dissident Congress members, 11 of the BJP and two independents.
Meanwhile, speaking to ENe, on the issue noted political analyst from Assam, Adip Phukan said, ‘For the time being it has changed but it is not completely true that Congress is losing ground in Northeast. People now want a change in leadership.
‘People in Assam have huge expectations from the new government and if they can’t fulfill then their condition will be exactly like Congress,’ he added.
He further stated that usually small States don’t go on conflict with the Union government as they have to depend on Centre for funds.
‘In Meghalaya, there is religious conflict, Christian voters will not accept BJP like the way they have accepted Congress and other regional parties,’ Phukan pointed out, adding, ‘In Tripura, BJP can take the position of Congress in next elections but can’t uproot left government.’