SHILLONG, Aug 04: The Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma has promised to turn the tables on the anti – Congress forces at work in Meghalaya who are attempting to oust the Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections slated to be held early next year.
“My job is to reverse the whole process of the anti-Congress forces. This is what we have been doing and we are acclimatized to these kinds of challenges and we know our job,” Dr. Sangma said at the sidelines of the swearing in ceremony of two newly inducted cabinet ministers – Celestine Lyngdoh and Comingone Ymbon – here on Friday.
Dr. Sangma was reacting to a query on whether the situation in the upcoming elections will be different from the last 2013 elections in which the Congress managed to come out as the single largest party with 30 MLAs.
He agreed that the anti-Congress forces like the BJP, which is strong at the centre, and its ally the National People’s Party (NPP) which is preparing to stage a comeback next year, are taking advantage of the situation and the Congress is adopting strategies to address this.
Asked whether the cabinet reshuffling is one of the steps to reverse the activities of anti-Congress forces he said, “It is not just one step as there are lots of other comprehensive measures.”
“A Chief Minister’s responsibility is to also identify leaders whoever are available and also create space for them and have opportunity to enable us to realize their potentiality in serving the people, that is one part and another part is to also to create a perception among the electorate. We are serious that is why we are creating this whole dispensation which is expected to be cohesive. Every time we do, we do it with the expectation of doing better.”
Moreover, the Chief Minister categorically denied that Tynsong and Dhar were dropped from the ministry because of their “anti-party stance”.
“I have made it abundantly clear that this (reshuffling) has got nothing to do (with such allegations) and I am saying in fact that I should have been able to exercise my mind in this direction even earlier also. But sometimes as we focus on work sometimes we don’t realize how time flies,” he said.
Earlier, reports suggested that Tynsong, along with Dhar, would leave the Congress and ARE likely to join the National People’s Party led by Lok Sabha MP from Tura, Conrad K. Sangma.
While Tynsong has been viewed as a “troublemaker” in the party, Dhar faced a complaint from the Jowai block Congress committee, accusing him of working against senior Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister Roytre C. Laloo.
Dr. Sangma also denied allegations that complaints have gone against the two former ministers to the AICC and also to the MPCC. In this regard, he said, “No that is not correct because I have sat with the AICC together with the PCC president. Those issues of anti party activities and other things did not and were not part of the discussion.”
“We have discussed the strategy, way forward and how to ensure we have an effective team (ahead of elections),” Dr. Sangma added.
Asked on what will be the role of Tynsong and Dhar in the party, Dr. Sangma said that this is for the party to decide. “One thing is that they have to reinforce in their respective constituencies and contribute for the party’s further strengthening in other constituencies,” he added.
Responding to another query whether removing these two is like removing thorns from the flesh of his cabinet, Dr. Sangma laughingly said, “You see, I will not be able to respond on people’s narratives based on presumptions and assumptions. I have said such action will always generate this kind of narratives but I will not comment on that.”