11 out of 17 Congress MLAs including former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma joined Trinamool Congress in a big move to West Bengal’s leadership. The Meghalaya MLAs presented a letter to the assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh around 10 pm on Wednesday, advising him regarding their difference in status, said sources.
The turn of events, which makes the Trinamool Congress the main opposition in the state, came a day after Congress leaders Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar along with Pawan Varma, formerly of Janata Dal (United), joined the Trinamool Congress in Delhi within the sight of party chief Mamata Banerjee at present visiting the national capital.
Hours before, Ms Banerjee said her party would invite political leaders from different parties who wished to join the Trinamool Congress’ fight against the BJP.
Meghalaya is the most recent state where the Trinamool Congress, in extension mode throughout the last few months, has made an inroad. In Assam, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana, its inroad has been at the expense of the Congress.
Ms Banerjee, known to impart a cordial relationship to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, has not met her this time, in spite of the fact that there was a buzz about a meeting.
Asked about some information on the matter, the Trinamool Congress chief erupted. She had looked for no meeting with Sonia Gandhi, as “they are busy with Punjab polls”, said Ms Banerjee.
Then, at a point she said, “Why should we meet Sonia every time? It is not constitutionally mandated.”
The dozen Congress MLAs who have escaped will address a press meet in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong today afternoon.
The Trinamool Congress has been attempting to extend its impression in Tripura and Goa with an eye to the following round of assembly polls in these states. In Tripura, the party has been in constant disagreement with the state’s ruling BJP in front of civic polls. In Goa, it is depending on Luizinho Faleiro, the state’s former Chief Minister.
On Tuesday, Ms Banerjee’s party made three key acquisitions that gave her a foothold in no less than two more states – Bihar and Haryana.
Other than Team India batsman Kirti Azad, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s aide Ashok Tanwar, and Rajya Sabha MP Pawan Verma of the Janata Dal (United), who dropped out with his head Nitish Kumar, likewise joined Ms Banerjee’s party.
The prior Congress contestants in the party included late President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee; Sushmita Dev, the previous Congress MP from Silchar and daughter of late Congress stalwart Santosh Mohan Dev.
In Delhi today, Ms Banerjee, whose big win in the April-May assembly polls in West Bengal had set off a buzz about her leading the opposition challenge to the BJP in the 2024 general decisions, said she was ready to assist with expelling the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
She said she would visit Varanasi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency – and the large opposition center of Mumbai to meet Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on December 1.
The Meghalaya Trinamool Congress was officially launched in 2012 with a goal to challenge from 35 of the state’s 60 seats. Team members of election strategist Prashant Kishor are in Shillong to say something regarding the Trinamool Congress’ options in the state for the 2023 assembly polls, PTI reported citing unnamed sources.