Shillong: In a huge setback to Congress in Meghalaya, 12 of its 18 MLAs, including former chief minister Mukul Sangma, joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday.
With the crossover of legislators, the TMC has become the principal opposition party in the state, news agency PTI reported, quoting a senior leader of the party.
Mamata Banerjee’s party, which is seeking to expand its footprints and enter national politics, was in touch with Congress legislators from the northeastern state.
Sangma, the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, was reportedly miffed with the Congress’ top leadership for allegedly being sidelined. He had also expressed resentment over the appointment of Lok Sabha MP Vincent H Pala as the president of the party’s state unit.
The former CM in an interview to Times Now’s had earlier said that he and rebel MLAs would seek to resolve certain internal issues within the party first before considering the possibility of joining the TMC.
Reports suggest that poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s team, which is tasked with helping the TMC spread its presence at the national level, are in Shillong to weigh in party’s options in the state ahead of the Meghalaya polls in 2023.
In 2012, the Meghalaya Pradesh Trinamool Congress was formally launched with an intention to contest 35 of the 60 Assembly seats in the state.
On Tuesday, two prominent leaders from Congress Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar joined the TMC in the presence of Banerjee.