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HomeNews ReportsCongress crisis in Meghalaya: Ex-CM Mukul Sangma and 11 other MLAs join TMC

Congress crisis in Meghalaya: Ex-CM Mukul Sangma and 11 other MLAs join TMC

Asked about the mass exodus, Mukul Sangma reportedly said: "Cannot say much about this. We will brief the media at 1 pm tomorrow. Few other MLAs will also be present."

The Congress party is heading for big trouble in Meghalaya as 12 out of their 17 MLAs have dumped them to join the Trinamool Congress Party on Wednesday. The 12 also include former Meghalaya CM Dr Mukul Sangma. A formal announcement is said to be scheduled for Thursday. With 12 jumping ships, Congress will now be left with only 5 MLAs in Meghalaya.

This comes less than a week after Mukul Sangma, the former chief minister of Meghalaya, met with AICC leaders in Delhi. Sangma is also connected to political strategist Prashant Kishor, with whom he met in the city, according to reports.

Asked about the mass exodus, Mukul Sangma, who is believed to have orchestrated this entire move, told News18: “Cannot say much about this. We will brief the media at 1 pm tomorrow. Few other MLAs will also be present.”

However, the channel quoted an inside source from Congress as confirming that Sangma and the other 11 MLAs submitted their resignation letter to Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on Wednesday evening. “We have quit Congress and have joined TMC, we are having a press conference tomorrow at 1.30 pm to announce this,” said a close aide of Sangma.

This development comes a month after Congress senior leader Rahul Gandhi met former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and the party’s state president Vincent H Pala over their demands.

Sangma, the assembly’s Leader of the Opposition, was said to be dissatisfied with Congress’s senior leadership.

Since the latter was selected as the new Meghalaya unit chairman in the month of August, former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Mukul M Sangma and Pradesh Congress Committee chief Vincent H Pala have been at odds. Sangma had also asserted that the party leadership did not consult him on Pala’s appointment. In fact, in September, Sangma had not attended the function held to felicitate Pala.

In an attempt to placate Sangma, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi met with him in Delhi in October, after which he said that “efforts are being made to iron out the divisions.”

Soon after the meeting, Sangma was seen campaigning for a Congress candidate in one of the three constituencies where bypolls were held on October 30.

Sangma and Pala recently met with Congress national secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal and AICC Meghalaya in-charge Manish Chatrath on November 18.

When contacted, Chatrath expressed surprise at the development. “KC Venugopal and I had a cordial meeting with Sangma, PCC president Vincent Pala, the three working presidents and some other senior leaders of the party from the state just five days ago, on November 18. Sangma had also issued a statement after that meeting, vowing to strengthen the party,” he said.

Previously, a TMC senior and minister in West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee government told News18 that the party is attempting to get Sangma into their folds to assist TMC to expand its base in the Northeast.

With this shocking turn of events, the Trinamool Congress party, despite not winning a single seat in the 2018 state elections, will become the principal opposition party in the assembly in Meghalaya. The Congress, which so far had 17 MLAs, will now be reduced to only five.

The Meghalaya exodus has come in the wake of several other Congress leaders, including Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar had joined TMC, along with JDU MP Pavan Varma. In August, senior Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev had joined TMC.


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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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