Kolkata, May 13, 2022, IANS
As rumours float that five Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs in Meghalaya may join the United Democratic Party (UDP), the former's National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee has summoned Meghalaya party president Charles Pyngrope and TMC's legislative party leader in the Meghalaya Assembly, Mukul Sangma to Kolkata.
The rumours about the five TMC MLAs in Meghalaya have come as a major embarrassment for the party, specially after Abhishek Banerjee, at a public meeting in Guwahati on Wednesday had claimed that his party will form the government in Meghalaya within a year.
The five MLAs rumoured to be quitting the TMC include Shitlang Pale, Jimmy D. Sangma, Himalaya Shangpliang, Marthon Sangma and Geroge B. Lyngdoh.
Confirming this political development, a senior TMC leader requesting anonymity said although the date of the emergency meeting in Kolkata is yet to be finalised, it will be held in May.
In November 2021, former Meghalaya Chief Minister and the Opposition leader in the state Assembly, Mukul Sangma and 11 others of the 17 Congress legislators in Meghalaya had joined the TMC.
As a result, TMC became the principal opposition party in the northeastern state.
However, even before six months have passed since then, the alleged reports of five TMC MLAs quitting the party have upset the party leadership, a TMC source said.
"In fact, before his Guwahati visit on May 11, our National General Secretary was supposed to visit Meghalaya on May 3. However, at that point of time, the party leadership received reports that a number of party functionaries in Meghalaya have become defunct. A party diktat was sent to the Meghalaya leadership to set things in order before the National General Secretary's next scheduled visit there," the Trinamool source said.
Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura are in focus for the TMC leadership to spread the party's organisational network in the northeast.
However, if the dissent in Meghalaya grows, the TMC's expansion plan in northeastern India will receive a major setback and therefore the party's top leadership is desperate to avoid it.