Joined TMC as Congress is not an effective opposition: Meghalaya's Mukul Sangma

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Joined TMC as Congress is not an effective opposition: Meghalaya’s Mukul Sangma
© Provided by Hindustan Times A file photo of former Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma in New Delhi. (ANI)

Former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday blamed the Congress’s inability in playing the role of an effective opposition and said this prompted him and 11 other lawmakers of the party to join the Trinamool Congress (TMC) a day earlier.

“The pulse of the people says there is a need for a strong pan-India alternative as Congress is really failing to respond to its call of duty as the main opposition party in the country. Therefore, our exercise to find such a party ultimately culminated in this decision (to join TMC),” Sangma said at a press conference in Shillong with the 11 lawmakers.

Sangma said they did an exhaustive study and explored the options available as they were failing in their role as an effective opposition. “We found it wanting in Congress despite trying to prevail upon the leadership. We were making trips after trips to Delhi while it should have been the other way round,” Sangma said.

Sangma said his interactions with political strategist Prashant Kishore over the past few months led him and other Congress lawmakers to join TMC. He added the TMC fights against an ideology that is “not compatible with our nation with diverse people”. He said this was one reason why they joined the party. “We have every reason to believe that we will win the trust and confidence of the people (in the 2023 assembly polls).”

Watch: Congress loses 12 of 17 Meghalaya MLAs to TMC

He added the decision was taken consciously and collectively after a lot of analysis and as part of a long-drawn exercise for the greater good of the people of Meghalaya and the nation. “We are setting a new trend for the future of the state, the region, and the nation with the utmost sense of humility but a complete sense of responsibility and commitment towards fulfilling our responsibility in serving the people, the state, and the nation.” He said the move to join TMC was a culmination of exhaustive due diligence analysis and trying to understand how best they can respond to their call towards their people.

The defections of the 12 reduced the Congress’s strength in the 60-member state assembly to five and made the TMC the single largest opposition party without even contesting an election. National Peoples’ Party, which heads the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance in the state, has 23 lawmakers and ally Bharatiya Janata Party two.

The defections are the latest in a series of switchovers to the TMC since May when chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC returned to power for the third time in a row in West Bengal.

Meghalaya Congress chief Vincent H Pala told a news channel that the defection was expected. He said it was “not a setback, but a challenge for Congress”.

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