Calling Congress an “incapable, incompetent party”, the Trinamool Congress on Thursday lashed out at the grand old party, saying that leaders across states joining hands with Mamata Banerjee cannot be TMC’s fault. The reaction came hours after 12 of the 18 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya, including former chief minister Mukul Sangma, switched to the TMC in a late night coup.
The move, which comes as a boost for the TMC in the Northeast, has sent ripples across political circles. Sangma is expected to address the media on Thursday afternoon. A report in The Indian Express quoted him as saying that some “happy developments and news” will be shared.
This comes less than a week after former Meghalaya chief minister met the AICC leadership in Delhi. He was apparently not happy with Vicent H Pala being made the state Congress chief. Sangma claimed that the appointment was carried out without his consent. In September, he had stayed away from a function to felicitate Pala.
There were also rumours that Sangma was looking at joining other parties, including the BJP. Some reporters tried contacting Pala for his reaction on the development but he didn’t take calls. A report in Hindustan Times stated quoted people familiar with the development as saying that the Congress MLAs led by the former chief minister have already submitted their resignations to Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh.
A senior leader of the TMC said with the new MLAs, the Trinamool Congress has become the principal opposition party in the state. In 2012, the Meghalaya Pradesh Trinamool Congress was formally launched with an intention to contest from 35 of the state’s 60 seats.
In the 2018 polls, Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 21 seats in the 60-member state Assembly. The National People’s Party (NPP), led by Conrad Sangma, had bagged 19 seats and the BJP won two. But the NPP managed to cobble together a ruling alliance as part of the BJP-backed North East Democratic Alliance.
News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that with an eye on the Meghalaya polls in 2023, team members of poll strategist Prashant Kishor are in Shillong to weigh in TMC’s options in the state. Meghalaya is set to hold Assembly polls in 2023.
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