Fresh trouble for Congress in Meghalaya as 5 MLAs resign

Fresh trouble for Congress in Meghalaya as 5 MLAs resign

Fresh trouble for Congress in Meghalaya as 5 MLAs resign

But the appointment of Mr. Pala as working president is significant as the Lok Sabha member is known to be a critic of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and the move is seen as an attempt to achieve a balance of power within the Congress.

A day after five MLAs of the Congress resigned from the Assembly to join NDA constituent National People's Party (NPP), Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday removed veteran D D Lapang as state unit president of Meghalya and replaced him with Celestine Lyngdoh.

The Congress legislators, who include former Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh, former cabinet ministers Prestone Tynsong, Coming One Ymbon, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Ngaitlang Dhar submitted their resignation letters to Assembly Commissioner and Secretary, Andrew Simon. Earlier, another Congress MLA Pynshngian N Syiem had resigned to join People's Democratic Front, which has eight MLAs in the House.

However, Sangma has been downplaying the desertion of MLAs claiming that it wouldn't affect the prospect of the Congress party in the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Four of the five Congress MLAs were part of the state cabinet and were sacked by the chief minister on the grounds of "incompetence".

Confirming the development, BJP state unit president Shibun Lyngdoh said the four legislators include A.L. Hek of the Congress, Sanbor Shullai of the NCP and two Independents - Justine Dkhar and Robinus Syngkon. The eight legislators who resigned today would join NPP on January 4 at a public rally.

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Hitting out at chief minister Mukul Sangma, the former deputy chief minister said, "The autocratic style of functioning of the chief minister had made it hard for me and others to function in the government".

"The main problem is that he (Dr Sangma) hardly consulted. This is not the way of running the government", Mr Tynsong said.

Accusing chief minister Sangma of practicing "one-upmanship", Tynsong, however, said, "Despite his negativity, there is also a positive side too".

"We (Congress legislators) have put in our papers since the leadership (chief minister Mukul Sangma) in the state has failed to meet the aspirations of the people, besides the style of functioning of the Chief Minister", Tynsong said.

Both the disgruntled leaders accused NPP president and Tura MP Conrad K Sangma of autocratic rule. He said that he had advised the chief minister to get the expert opinion of the Election Commission of India and other legal experts before passing of the bill. "He is courageous; whatever he says we had to do it".

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