SHILLONG, June 13: While maintaining that nothing is final in politics, the Congress party is refusing to acknowledge that its MLA from Ranikor constituency, Martin M Danggo will soon leave the party and join the ruling National People’s Party (NPP).
“We are please to tell you that all the 21 MLAs are intact. We have got trust in all the MLAs and we assured that all will work together and function as opposition in the right perspective in the interest of the people of the state,” Congress spokesperson Zenith M Sangma said here on Wednesday.
In a meeting held at Ranikor on Tuesday, five-time Congress legislator Martin M Danggo has announced that he would put in his papers to join the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) after the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma assured that Ranikor will be upgraded to a Civil Sub-division.
“I am thankful to the Chief Minister for his assurance to accept our memorandum and demands. I assure him that I will resign from Congress party as and when the date for the inauguration of the new Civil Sub-Division is made by the Chief Minister,” Danggo had told the large gathering.
Reacting to this, Zenith said, “You see nothing is final in politics. If somebody says he or she will do something then it is still in the future tense and I am very confident that Danggo, who is a very senior and is a seasoned politician, cannot take any wrong decision.”
Asked whether Danggo is hobnobbing with the NPP, the party spokesman said, “When certain action by any elected MLA belonging to any political party attracts the provision of the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution then it is the prerogative of the Assembly Speaker to take any step for disqualifying any member of the house.”
Asked if the Congress would file a complaint against the Ranikor MLA, Zenith said, “It is too early to say but as of now all 21 MLAs are intact and so far we have not found any anti-party activity from any corner.” He however said there will be proper investigation as to who is responsible for any kind of anti-party activities if there is any.
Further reacting to a query, Zenith said that there will be no damage to the party even if Danggo decides to leave the Congress.
“There will be no damage because as of now he has not left and he is not leaving the party. Whatever indication that may be seen by you, that is not our concern but I am confident that he is not leaving the party and he is matured seasoned politician and he will not take any wrong step,” he said.
On the allegations made by Danggo apropos the failure of the Congress, Zenith admitted that the Ranikor area has been neglected and claimed that the then Congress-led government in the recent past has paid enough attention and a lot of developmental work has been carried out.
He pointed out that in 2012, such a difficult area was given a new district (South West Khasi Hills), which was one of the biggest contribution to the area and subsequently a new full fledged police station was also sanction and one administrative unit was given.
Massive investment was also done in the 2017-18 financial year which includes the sanctioning under SARDP-NE for the construction of 136 kms of a road from Baghmara to Ranikor, he said. He however said that the tender could not be floated because of a delay in land acquisition.
Zenith also claimed that the demand during the Chief Ministership of Dr. Mukul Sangma was for the the creation of a Ranikor administrative unit and not a civil sub-division.
“This petition is being submitted to the present government not Congress-led government. In my presence, Danggo spoke to the then CM, Dr. Mukul Sangma if administrative unit could be sanctioned then it would be of great help and it was immediately sanctioned and the response was so fast,” he said.
It may be mentioned that the Congress flag was also put down as a mark of dissolving the Ranikor Block Congress Committee (RBCC) and the flag of the NPP was instead hoisted before a large gathering after Congress leaders, workers and supporters decided to join the NPP during the meeting on Tuesday.
On this, Zenith said that the party leadership has taken not and will take action as this (flag issue) is a very serious offence because it is an insult and humiliation to the party. According to him, every political party should be honoured in a democracy.
He also added that the dissolution of a block committee can only be done by the party’s district committee and the block committee is not authorized to dissolve any unit at their level.