Meghalaya MP
File image of Meghalaya MP Vincent H Pala

Shillong: Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president Vincent Pala on Monday has admitted that one or two leaders from Garo Hills may leave the party.

Pala, however, did not name any names.

But his statement comes at a time when speculations are rift that senior Congress leader Dr Mukul Sangma may leave the party and join the TMC.

Taking responsibility for the defeat in the recent by-polls, the MPCC president stated that the majority of the leaders will continue to stay with the party. He added that one must also remember that when some leave, there are others who join the party.

The Congress lost Rajabala, Mawryngkneng, which it had won in 2018, to the ruling NPP.

When asked about the names of those willing to join the Congress, Pala said they have a few people ready to join but it is too early to say. “After March or April, we will be able to spill the beans,” stated Pala.

“As per last election, almost 9 MLAs left Congress but if you look at overall performance of the Congress, it wasn’t that bad. This time, we will do better. As of now it is difficult to predict since we have one year and a few months before the assembly elections. This time there is more enthusiasm to work for the party. The preparation is more intense this time,” Pala said.

Senior Congress leader Pynshngain N Syiem said it is too early to say that because of the by-polls some party leaders will leave the Congress. “Many things can change in this one year and few months. In Meghalaya, the Congress is the only alternative in 2023 for the people,” said Syiem.

Concerning the defeat in the recent by-polls, Pala said, “Our own Member of District Council (MDCs) contested as rebel candidates. Had they not contested, we would have won. But, on the other hand, our vote share has increased compared to NPP and UDP. When you take all those analysis, you know the people are with the Congress.”

The Congress president also said the failure was also due to the incapability to connect with the supporters of Mawryngkneng candidate Highlander Kharmalki and late Congress MLA David Nongrum. 

Pala refused to blame the defeat to infighting within the Congress party but agreed that some party workers defected.

He also accused the ruling NPP-led MDA govt of misusing their power during the clash that erupted on the last day of campaigning at Rajabala constituency.

“The government misused their power; they arrested more than 170 workers and harassed them, and put them in jail. They harassed only our workers. People are easily convinced when money is also thrown at them,” alleged Pala.

Meanwhile, Mawphlang constituency candidate Kennedy Khyriem said that it was a tough fight against UDP candidate Eugeneson Lyngdoh.

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