In a midnight coup, the former Congress chief minister of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma and 11Congress MLAs joined Trinamul Congress today. The strength of Congress in the Meghalaya Assembly has been reduced to five from 17 as TMC emerged as the lead opposition party.
Sangma and others have already sent letters to the state Assembly Speaker and joined the TMC in presence of two Bengal ministers Moloy Ghatak and Manas Bhuniya. Ghatak said, “From now on Trinamul Congress is the main Opposition party in Meghalaya.” Sangma said, “we have discussed in the party and we have decided that being in Congress we were not in a position to serve the people’s interest.
In 2013, Congress came to power on its own without alliance. In 2018, although we had 21 seats out of 60 but failed to form a government as another party poached four of our MLAs at that time. So we have decided to join Trinamul Congress as Mamata Banerjee party’s supremo is emerging as the face of the Opposition.”
Former CM Mukul Sangma today said that 12 Congress MLAs have taken “conscious decision” to join the TMC. “This group of 17 we have, collectively demonstrated our commitment…the commitment towards the state has superseded everything else…we are failing in our duty as far as the role of the opposition is concerned,” he added.
Reliable sources said that political strategist Prashant Kishor and his team members, who have been camping in Shillong for the past two months, apparently engineered the defections. State Congress President and Lok Sabha Member Vincent H. Pala said in Shillong that the desertion of the 12 MLAs is not a setback for the party, it is a new challenge and the Congress leaders know how to face the challenge.
The 12 MLAs who joined the TMC include four legislators from the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region and eight MLAs from Garo Hills. Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today said that the Congress party is on the ventilator without any policy and leadership.
Asked about Sangma joining TMC, the minister said, “The whole world has now accepted that the Congress party is on ventilator now. It does not have any policy and leadership. When there is an absence of both, the future of any political party is dark.”
The minister further said that the people who want to do politics in future do not want to remain in Congress. “I think the chapter of Congress in the country has come to an end. Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of dissolving the Congress. It should be closed now. I think the country has rejected the Congress. There is a stampede in Congress. With the kinds of schisms in the party today, people who want to be in politics in the future do not want to remain in the Congress,” he said.