Press Releases


Wednesday, 04th June, 2014
NEW DELHI: Victorious Congress candidate from Shillong Lok Sabha seat Vincent H. Pala must be a happy man today. He has received a letter from none other than Congress president Sonia Gandhi, congratulating him on his win “against heavy odds.”
Whether Sonia’s letter would make Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma also happy is, however, a moot question. For, political observers in Shillong are viewing the message of the Congress president as a signal against regional satraps of the party who are promoting intra-party squabbles.
Electioneering for the Shillong seat was marked by serious infighting within the Congress, they point out. The Chief Minister himself was believed to have opposed Pala’s candidature. He did not campaign for Pala, concentrating his efforts in the Tura seat.
Some other senior Pradesh Congress Committee leaders had also tried to put obstacles in Pala’s path, it was reported.
Pala himself had, however, taken such infightings in his stride, saying it was a part of the culture of the century-old party. Sangma had denied that he had taken an anti-Pala stand, saying there were enough senior party leaders available in Shillong to campaign for the party candidate.
For the Congress president, it would be natural to reserve special messages of congratulation for party candidates who could emerge victorious in the face
of infighting, observers pointed out. For, the Lok Sabha results of the Congress are dismal and especially in the north east region it has suffered a lot because of infightings within the party.
The worst case scenario was in Assam, it was pointed out, where the tally of Congress has come down from seven to three. There, the State Congress has been witnessing a serious rivalry between Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the second man in the cabinet Himanta Biswa Sarma. The infighting between the rival camps was believed to be an important reason for the poor show of Congress in Assam. Legislators of the two camps have even made a beeline for Delhi after the declaration of the results to lodge complaints against one another before the party high command.