Congress has failed to play role of Opposition, so joined TMC: Ex-CM of Meghalaya Mukul Sangma

He said people believed the Congress was failing to respond to its call of duty as the main opposition party in the country.
Former Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma (File | PTI)
Former Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma (File | PTI)

GUWAHATI: Former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday said the realisation that the Congress had failed to play the role of Opposition and the country needing a pan-India alternative political party made him and 11 other party MLAs merge themselves with the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

"In a democracy, we must be able to play the role of Opposition effectively so we can take the party in power head-on. We looked at available options and reached out to people and friends. We tried to understand the pulse of the people and it says there is a need for a strong pan-India alternative political party," Sangma told journalists, alluding to the TMC.

He said people believed the Congress was failing to respond to its call of duty as the main opposition party in the country.

The 12 MLAs have already submitted the letters of resignation from the Congress to Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh. The Congress had 17 MLAs and the departure of the dozen of them has nothing to do with anti-defection law. Earlier, the Congress had lost several MLAs to the ruling BJP in Manipur and Assam.

Meghalaya is ruled by a coalition of parties led by the PA Sangma-founded National People’s Party. Infighting in Congress is believed to have triggered the political development. 

The party was reduced to two factions after Shillong MP Vincent H Pala had taken over as its state unit chief two months ago. Sangma was the sole contender for the CM post and he felt threatened by Pala’s appointment. "We tried our best to prevail upon our central leadership. We kept going to Delhi which should have been the other way round. Despite all efforts, we failed," Sangma said.

He said it was a conscious decision to wear TMC colours. The commitment to the people and the state superseded everything else, he said. "The country must understand the prevailing political scenario. We looked at the available space to play the role of Opposition and also seek the mandate of people," Sangma said. 

He said the 12 of them had done an exhaustive study and analysed if they could perform their duties by staying in the Congress.

"I came across many senior leaders from across parties. In fact, some Congress leaders had helped me to understand the ground reality, including state of affairs in the party. In due course, I came across (TMC strategist) Prashant Kishor who can make a difference. When we interacted, I felt we share the same objective," Sangma said.
 

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