With the ruling Congress party in Meghalaya suffering a disastrous defeat at the hands of the National People’s Party (NPP) in the recent by-election to the Tura Lok Sabha seat, leaders of the party are now out to get chief minister Mukul Sangma replaced.
A group of dissident leaders led by PCC president former chief minister DD Lapang has already visited New Delhi and briefed the Congress high command about the status of the party that led to the crushing defeat in Tura. The dissidents also have several ministers and MLAs, all of whom squarely blame chief minister Mukul Sangma for the defeat.
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The Tura seat had fallen vacant following the death of sitting MP and former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma in February this year. While Purno Sangma’s son Conrad K Sangma of the NPP had polled over 3.29 lakh votes, Congress candidate Dikkanchi Shira – who is also wife of chief minister Mukul Sangma – polled only 1.37 lakh votes. The Congress could manage to poll more votes than the NPP in only one of the 24 Assembly segments under Tura.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma however has claimed that his government was stable that “an inherent mechanism” within the Congress party would resolve the differences that had arisen following the by-election results. “It is an internal affair of the party and there is an inherent mechanism within the party to resolve the differences,” he said in Shillong.
While the Congress has 30 MLAs including the Speaker in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly, reports from Shillong said majority of the Congress MLAs were in favour of a change in the CLP leadership. The dissidents however have not projected any particular leader for the CM’s post.