SHILLONG: Citing Congress’s “failure to respond to the call of duty as the main opposition party” across states, former Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma and 11 other party MLAs on Thursday “merged” with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress to catapult it from zero presence in the 60-member assembly to the state’s main opposition party.
Congress, which had 17 MLAs before the exodus, said it was mulling legal action even as Sangma sounded the bugle for TMC’s “expansion” in other states of the northeast as it seeks to become what he termed “a pan-India political alternative”.
“We are in touch with our lawyers. We will do something soon… We were all prepared,” said Meghalaya Congress chief Vincent H Pala.
, whose appointment as PCC chief was speculated to be the trigger for Sangma’s first move towards TMC.
The AICC accused Trinamool of working to strengthen BJP. “This is happening like a conspiracy. People in the party, especially our party president (Sonia Gandhi) and Rahul Gandhi, are looking into it. They will take a decision,” news agency ANI quoted Congress veteran and Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge as saying.
Those who jumped ship were four legislators from the Khasi-Jaintia Hills and eight from the Garo Hills. Besides Sangma, who won from two constituencies of the Garo Hills in the 2018 polls, the defecting MLAs are Charles Pyngrope, Himalaya Shangpliang, George B Lyngdoh, Shitlang Pale, Dikkanchi D Shira, Miani D Shira, Zenith Sangma, Marthon J Sangma, Jimmy D Sangma, Winnerson D Sangma and Lazarus M Sangma.
“Today is a momentous occasion for Meghalaya, setting a new trend for the future,” Sangma announced at a presser in Shillong, flanked by the 11 MLAs.

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