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The five Congress MLAs in Meghalaya apparently took the decision to join the National People’s Party-led coalition government without keeping the party posted.
The MLAs on February 8 submitted a letter to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma saying they wish to support the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government. The BJP is a minor constituent of this alliance.
Deborah Marak, the working president of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), said the MLAs had no approval from either the State Congress unit or the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
“We do not know how they agreed to support the government and we had no idea about their move. The MPCC has no authority to give any approval for working with any government, only the AICC has,” she said.
P.N. Syiem, another MPCC working president, said the party MLAs made a wrong move.
“We need to understand that the BJP is also a part of the government, and the Congress can never work with a non-secular force,” he said.
“We are taking this matter very seriously,” he added.
The MLAs defended their move. One of them, P.T. Sawkmie, said they had every right to take a decision on a matter in the interests of the State and its people.
“This is an issue confined to the Congress Legislature Party and we don’t need to take permission from the MPCC president or the AICC,” he said.
Trouble within the Congress in Meghalaya started after MP Vincent H. Pala was made the State president in August 2021 “without consulting the State leadership”.
The resentment culminated in 12 MLAs led by former Chief Minister Mukul M. Sangma quitting the Congress and joining the Trinamool Congress in November 2021. This left the Congress with five MLAs.