SHILLONG, Nov 30: With their indications of willingness to join the Congress party, as many as 5 Independent legislators will boost the current strength of the party in Meghalaya as has been informed by Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma here on Thursday.
Dr. Sangma said that some of the Independent MLAs have indicated their desire to be nominees of the Indian National Congress (INC) for the upcoming state elections.
“The process of examination is currently ongoing as per practice and convention of the INC as we decide at our level, it has to be approved by our central election committee which is headed by the Congress president,” he said.
Dr. Sangma said those joining the Congress include five Independent MLAs from Garo Hills region, one from Khasi Hills while many former MLAs from Jaintia Hills have also shown keen interest to join the party.
“We have quite a number of friends who are not sitting MLAs from other parties who have indicated their willingness and we have looked at the possibility of considering their request,” he added.
His statement has come at a time when at least two Independent MLAs namely Rophul S Marak and Robinus Syngkon have withdrawn support from the Congress-led MUA-II government.
Besides this, some of the sitting legislators from the Congress are also waiting anxiously to join other political parties after the upcoming winter session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
On Independent MLAs accusing his government of failure, the Chief Minister said, “It is nothing new as only non-performers are blaming others. I have seen those who have not been able to fulfill the aspiration of the people have been shown the door by the electorate. So there is no scope for the blame game, we have all records available with us.”
On the other hand, Dr. Sangma said that withdrawing of support by the Independent MLAs is because that the battle lines have been drawn.
He said that the Congress has candidates in those constituencies presently represented by Independent MLAs, who will be strong contenders against the sitting MLAs.
“These candidates are already the projected and well nurtured potential nominees of the INC,” he said.
As battle lines for the 2018 state elections are drawn, Dr. Sangma said, “We will see how sitting MLAs are positioning themselves. In the case of independent MLAs, obviously they will look at the option of either aligning with other political parties or contest as an independents.”