New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said 12 of the party’s 17 MLAs in Meghalaya joining the TMC was a conspiracy and that the party’s top leadership was looking into it.

The Congress had termed it a “big jolt” after the MLAs merged with the TMC, but asserted that it would stage a comeback in 2023 when the next assembly election is due in the northeastern state.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and former chief minister Mukul Sangma, former Assembly speaker Charles Pyngrope and 10 other legislators on Thursday announced the decision to shift their allegiance to the TMC led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“This is like a conspiracy…. Our senior leaders including Rahul Gandhi are looking into it,” Kharge told reporters here.

He said they would take a decision on the issue soon.

The party went into a huddle after the exodus of its MLAs in Meghalaya amid problems within its local unit.

AICC in-charge Manish Chatrath also rushed to Shillong to assess the situation.

Sangma, who was the chief minister of the relatively calm northeastern state between 2010 and 2018, asserted the decision to shift allegiance to the TMC had its roots in the Congress’s failure to fight the BJP which was growing stronger.

But many say his action was prompted by his disaffection over the Congress leadership appointing Vincent H Pala as state party chief without consulting him.

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