Congress is heading for a major setback in Meghalaya, as Trinamool Congress said Wednesday that 12 of the 17 MLAs of the main opposition party intend to join its camp.
This came less than a week after Meghalai’s former chief minister, Mukul Sangma, met with AICC leadership in Delhi.
The development will be the impetus for TMC in the northeast. When contacted, Sangma said Indian express that he will share some “happy events and news” on Thursday.
Congress was the largest party in 2018 polls, with 21 seats in the 60-member State Assembly. The National People’s Party (NPP), led by Konrad Sangma, won 19 seats and Bjp won two. But the NPP was able to cobble together a ruling alliance as part of the BJP-backed Northeast Democratic Alliance.
Meghalaya plans to conduct Assembly polls in 2023.
The Meghalaya Congressional arm has been in disarray since Vincent H. Pala was named president of the state in August, and Sangma claimed the appointment was made without his consent. In September, Sangma did not attend the event to congratulate Pala.
In October, the President of Congress Sonya Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi met with Sangma in Delhi to try to calm him down, after which he stated that “efforts are being made to iron out differences.”
Subsequently, during a by-pass election on October 30, Sangma campaigned for the congressional candidate in one of the three constituencies where elections were held. As recently as November 18th, Sangma and Pala attended a meeting with the Secretary General (organization) of the Congress, KK Venugopal, and the AICC in charge of Meghalaya, Manish Chatrat.
When contacted, Chatrat expressed surprise at the development of events. “KC Venugopal and I had a cordial meeting with Sangma, PCC President Vincent Pala, the three labor presidents and some other high-level state party leaders just five days ago on November 18th. Sangma also issued a statement after this meeting, vowing to strengthen the party, ”he said.
Sources said the AICC is making a last-ditch effort to stave off the split. But one leader said there was little chance of reconciliation right now.
TMC is making an aggressive push to expand its national presence. On Wednesday, West Bengal General Manager and Head of TMC Mamata Banerjee, who is visiting Delhi, suggested that the party plans to support non-congressional opposition parties across the country and raid wherever it believes it could oust Congress as the main opposition.
Briefing for journalists after meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the third day of her visit to Delhi, Banerjee made it clear that she did not seek any meeting with Sonya Gandhi.
“I did not seek time from anyone other than the Prime Minister. I know there are polls in Punjab and they (Gandhi and Kejriwal) are busy, let them work for their party … Do I need to meet every time? Is there such a constitutional provision? “
On Tuesday, Banerjee inaugurated Congress leader Kirti Azad, expelled JD (U) leader Pavan Varma and former Haryana Congress leader Ashok Tanwar into her party.
Sangma is the seventh former CM of Congress to leave the party since 2014. Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh recently left the party. Earlier, former chief ministers Vijay Bahugun (Uttarakhand), the late Ajit Jogi (Chhattisgarh), S.M. Krishna (Karnataka), Narayan Rane (Maharashtra) and Giridhar Gamang (Odisha).
With Manoj CG, New Delhi