How this Volte Face?
The news that the leader of the Garo National Liberation Army, a proscribed unit in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya, by the Government of India will be contesting election has come as the proverbial bolt from the blue. That too, when the unit was supposedly waging a war against the Congress led government in the state.
To my knowledge there has been no official corroboration by the state government. Is it just an eyewash? One really doesn't know. Both the state and central governments must give official clarifications on this issue.
Indian politics is getting murkier and dirtier. How can a proscribed unit which has been accused for sedition, have the effrontery to make such a statement, if there is no tacit support?
The Trinamool Congress at the Centre continues to play the hide and seek game. Now it is hiding, because it is seeking! This again is unabashed bargaining.
The Meghalaya development is intriguing to say the least. All this while the GNLA was demanding a separate state in the Garo Hills which is not seditious. Yet they were proscribed. Now they want to play a role in the state politics, by contesting ensuing elections, and that too in the party, whose government they vehemently opposed. The Chief Minister's silence, makes one smell a rat. And it gets smellier when the Election Commissioner of the state,says that he will have to check the rules, on being questioned whether an arrested person can contest elections. The leader right now is languishing in jail, he was arrested barely a week back. And now he announces that he will contest the elections as a Congress candidate.
Has he got the ticket? How, when? Why is the party keeping silent? And, if he does get a ticket, how can the party harbour or field a candidate, who has seditious charges against him? In India anything can happen, and North East India in its politics is pretty mainstream. We have to wait and watch. All sorts of ominous questions come to the mind, which perhaps should not be spelled out here. But this is a dangerous sign, one minute underground, the next overground on firm political terra firma. The other militant outfits in the region never did this volte face trick, they always stood to their guns, metaphorically and even literally!
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Ananya S Guha
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