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Ex-Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma joins TMC with 11 Congress MLAs

Ex-Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma joins TMC with 11 Congress MLAs
Mukul Sangma (File)
NEW DELHI, NOV 24 (PTI/AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/24/2021 1:27:54 PM IST

In a massive jolt to the opposition Congress in Meghalaya, 12 of its 17 MLAs led by former chief minister Mukul Sangma will join Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress on Thursday, said one of the defecting lawmakers H M Shangpliang.

“12 MLAs of the Congress out of 17 in Meghalaya have decided to join the TMC. We will formally join the TMC under the leadership of former CM Mukul Sangma,” Shangpliang, the MLA from Mawsynram in East Khasi Hills district told PTI late Wednesday night. The Congress MLAs will join the TMC at an event at 1 p.m., he said.

The breakaway group has submitted a list of MLAs crossing over to the TMC to state Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh and informed him about their decision, an official said in Shillong. 

Mukul Sangma, however, remained tight-lipped on the matter. He told a news channel that he would not like to say much over the matter but would only do so at a scheduled media conference at 1 p.m. Thursday. “Few other MLAs will also be present,” he said.

A Congress source admitted that Sangma along with 11 other party MLAs submitted their resignation letters to Assembly Speaker.

Sangma, the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, was reportedly unhappy with the Congress's top leadership. This comes a month after Rahul Gandhi met Mukul Sangma and the party's state president Vincent H Pala over their demands. Mukul Sangma and PCC chief Vincent H Pala had not been getting along well ever since the latter was appointed the new Meghalaya unit chief.

Sources said poll strategist Prashant Kishore has been largely credited for netting scores of veteran Congress leaders to TMC. He had got veteran Congress leader and former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faliero join TMC.

Kishor wanted to join Congress but his entry was opposed by the veteran party leaders who were apprehensive about their positions. 

Kishore is in Shillong with an eye on the Meghalaya polls in 2023 to weigh in TMC's options in the state. 

As the anti-defection law permits merger of two third members of a legislature group with another party, the 12 Congress lawmakers will not attract disqualification.

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