Heating up the political climate in the state ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections, five remaining Congress MLAs “joined” the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), on February 8.
The “last five”, led by the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ampareen Lyngdoh, in a letter submitted to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma at his office chamber, said that they have unanimously decided to support the MDA for the sake of the betterment of their respective constituencies vis-à-vis the state.
“We the undersigned MLAs of the Indian National Congress have decided to join the MDA government today the 8th February 2022. We wish to support you and the MDA to strengthen the government’s arms and decision making, so as to ensure that our joined efforts will take the state forward, in the general interest of its citizens (sic),” read the letter signed by Lyngdoh, Mayralborn Syiem, Mohendro Rapsang, PT Sawkmie and Kimfa S Marbaniang.
Interestingly, the original date mentioned in the letter is January 22, 2022, which has been struck off and replaced with hand-written “8th February”.
Speaking to the press post the meeting, Lyngdoh said, “You may ask what is the reason behind this…We are at this juncture of politics where we have to make sure that we cover each other’s backs. We are elected representatives and we take along the needs and requirements of our constituencies.”
Earlier on December 17, the same “famous five” had extended full support to the NPP on pertinent issues concerning the state such as ILP and others.
Referring to speculations if the five MLAs are planning to join the NPP ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls, the East Shillong legislator, evading a straight answer, said that “it is not the right time to speculate on that”.
“We expect the high command of the party (NPP) to listen to us because we are the elected members; we are the ones going for elections; we are the ones feeling the brunt of this confusion,” she added.
When asked if the Congress would be “comfortable” supporting an alliance where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a partner, Lyngdoh, said that they are not privy to which party is backing the MDA.
“We go as CLP to seek justice for our constituencies; that’s our politics.
We have not got into that level of asking them (MDA) who are your partners. We have been out from the government for the past four years and we have no clarity on those matters. We are not privy to any of their discussions and dialogues, we just want to see our constituencies receiving the attention they deserve,” she said.
Lyngdoh further informed that the MLAs also discussed various other issues with the chief minister which includes the inter-state border dispute with Assam.
“We also have two MLAs in the regional committees on the inter-state boundary issue and we feel, at this juncture, that the interest of the state and the people of our constituencies is of paramount importance,” Lyngdoh said.