Mamata 'gravitating force', more people will join her: Mukul Sangma

A day after decimating the Meghalaya unit of the Indian National Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is slowly taking shape in Meghalaya. The party will meet party supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday in Kolkata to elect the state president. 

Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang, who won the Mawsynram seat in 2018, was appointed as the party spokesperson, while George Lyngdoh will become TMC’s chief whip in the state. 

On November 12, in a stunning political move, 12 MLAs from Congress switched to Trinamool Congress, a party that hitherto had hardly any base in the state. The rebellion has been attributed to Prashant Kishore, the master election strategist who has been credited as the man behind the victories of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and, most recently, the spectacular victory of Mamata Banerjee in the West Bengal elections. 

In a matter of hours, the INC went from being the main opposition party to having just 5 MLAs in the state. 

The rebels include Mukul Sangma, who was the Meghalaya from 2010 to 2018. In a scathing press conference, Mukul Sangma blamed the party for failing “to respond to the call of duty” as the largest player in the Opposition. 

Several people believe the rebellion to the nomination of Vincent Pala as the party president in August 2021. Pala, however, put on a brave face and stood defiant yesterday during his press conference. 

“Most of the leaders who were in power, now, they are out of power, so definitely, they will be restless. So that must be one of the reasons. My appointment as president is not done by me. It was a demand by the MLAs and MDCs. The AICC consulted with the leaders twice, and I think they left not because of my appointment but because (we have been) out of power for some time. My appointment is an excuse, and I knew from before that they were planning to leave. We (the party) were prepared. We have done a lot of activities and have been touring from one constituency to other in the last three days,” Pala said.

Since winning the West Bengal elections, TMC has been on overdrive, especially in the Northeast. From being almost non-existent, it has become a major voice of the opposition in Tripura, and even in Assam, it has been bolstered by the joining of Sushmita Dev, who was the strongest voice of the Congress in Barak Valley.

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