Six months after 12 Congress MLAs, led by former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, defected to Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Meghalaya, the party is set to lose some of the legislators.
At least four MLAs of the party are believed to be in talks with the leaders of two parties in the ruling alliance in the State. There are speculations that two each MLAs may join the National People’s Party (NPP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP).
While the NPP has said “it is not unusual for MLAs or senior leaders to switch parties ahead of Assembly polls”, the UDP chose to be diplomatic about the development.
“Leaders of different political parties have approached us but decisions will be taken after the State election committee meets,” UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh said.
State TMC president and MLA Charles Pyngrope said he was unaware of two of his colleagues – Himalaya Shangpliang and Shitlang Pale – are quitting. “They are yet to inform me about their plans to leave party,” he said.
He also said he “heard” about the UDP trying to lure him too. “None of the UDP leaders has approached me with any offer,” he added.
Mr. Pyngrope said the TMC has already started its preparations for the polls scheduled by February 2023. “We are planning to contest from all 60 seats if we manage to get the right candidates,” he said.
The TMC is likely to be on election mode after senior party leader, Abhishek Banerjee visits State capital Shillong on June 16 for a series of programmes, including meeting party workers.
Many in Meghalaya view TMC as a “Bengali party” but Mr. Pyngrope said people also acknowledge that it is a party that can stand up to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).