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From main Opposition party, Congress turns Meghalaya government supporter

Last month, the Congress had suffered a body blow when 12 of its 17 MLAs led by former chief minister Mukul Sangma defected to the Trinamool.

Published: 19th December 2021 06:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2021 06:26 AM   |  A+A-

Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma. (File | PTI)

GUWAHATI: From being the principal opposition party in Meghalaya until recently, a beleaguered Congress has now decided to support the ruling party, the National People’s Party led by CM Conrad Sangma, in “interest of the people.”

“We have decided to offer our support to the government on the aspect of governance in greater interest of the people of Meghalaya,” Congress leader Ampareen Lyngdoh said.

Last month, the Congress had suffered a body blow when 12 of its 17 MLAs led by former chief minister Mukul Sangma defected to the Trinamool. The development relegated the Congress to a smaller party and made the Trinamool the state’s principal opposition overnight. It had no MLAs before.

But in deciding to support the current government, the grand old party has got closer to the BJP, an NPP ally and a component of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government.

This invited ridicule from opposition party leaders. Delhi chief minister took a dig at the Congress and tweeted: “Congress and BJP part of same govt in Meghalaya?” 

After the departure of the dozen party MLAs, speculation was rife in the hill state that the Congress and the NPP might explore the idea of working together given state Congress chief and Shillong MP, Vincent H Pala’s, proximity to the NPP leadership. Pala did take phone calls or replied to WhatsApp messages for his reaction.

Those following Meghalaya politics closely said it will not be a surprise if the five Congress MLAs merge themselves with the NPP ahead of assembly elections due in early 2023.

The Congress has been hurt not just by the desertion of the 12 MLAs but also by the resignation of hundreds of Youth Congress and National Students’ Union of India workers. 

The Trinamool said following its emergence in the state’s political landscape, the Congress was feeling threatened. “But our intention is not to threaten anybody. We want to build the party that will work for the people,” TMC state chief Charles Pyngrope said.



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