Meghalaya election 2023: Lone NCP MLA resigns, re-joins congress
Saleng Sangma

Shillong: The lone Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA in Meghalaya, Saleng Sangma, resigned on Monday and rejoined the Congress party. He had previously been expelled by then Congress leader Dr Mukul Sangma.

Saleng Sangma, an MLA from the Gambegre constituency, is a three-time MLA. He first won in 2008 on a Congress ticket from the Dalamgiri constituency. In 2013, he contested as an independent candidate from the Gambegre (ST) constituency and won. In 2018, he was re-elected from the Gambegre (ST) constituency on an NCP ticket.

According to Sangma, he never left the party but was kicked out by the TMC leader ten years ago. “The person who kicked me out is no longer with Congress. He was a coward and couldn’t stick with the Congress and joined TMC,” said Sangma.

He said that he had been contemplating joining the BJP, but due to recent attacks on Christians and the politicization of the issue by other political parties like TMC, he chose to return to Congress.

“The BJP is a good party, but there are elements that don’t align with our Christian society. Last time I was thinking maybe I might join the BJP, but since this is a Christian-dominated state, I don’t want to hurt the sentiments of my people. That’s the emotion I have to respect,” he said.

“I was part of the MDA government, but I never received any benefits. I was on that bus, but I never got a seat and was hanging on the back,” said Sangma.

When asked why he remained quiet, especially with several allegations levelled against the NPP-led government, Sangma said, “people voted for them, so they should face the consequences”.

“The people who gave them the mandate, if they realize their mistake, they will change. Apart from allegations, there was continuous agitation. It’s the people’s choice. There is a saying in the Bible that says, ‘what you sow is what you reap,’ ” stated Sangma.

Meanwhile, media coordinator Matthew Anthony said, “a lot of propaganda from the BJP-supported alliances always goes with this fake promise of development.”

“Congress is getting a lot of support from the public because they are feeling the pulse and the heat from the people themselves. They are not in alignment with the current government and they want a change. That is where we are coming with a lot of reassurance that we are winning this confidently with an absolute majority,” said Anthony.

Along with Saleng, MP Agatha Sangma’s brother-in-law, Chireng Peter Marak, also joined Congress on Monday.

Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president, Vincent Pala, said Saleng is a politician with a bright future.

Backing the allegations of Saleng being thrown out, Pala said that Saleng was in Congress since the time he joined Youth Congress. He added that Saleng worked very hard on the ground during those days, but due to some people who him as a threat, he was removed from the party.

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