Shillong: Two of the five Congress MLAs in Meghalaya joined the ruling National People's Party (NPP) on Monday, six days after the four MLAs of different political parties joined the BJP.
Congress legislators -- Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh and Mohendro Rapsang -- resigned from the Assembly on Monday and then in the evening, joined the NPP at a ceremony, where Chief Minister and NPP President Conrad K. Sangma, Rajya Sabha MP and NPP state President W.R. Kharlukhi and other senior leaders were present.
With Lyngdoh and Rapsang quitting, the Congress now has three MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly.
The Congress earlier suspended all the five party MLAs for their hobnobbing with the NPP leadership, specially the Chief Minister. However, in the Assembly records, they are still Congress members.
In the 2018 Assembly election, the Congress won 21 seats.
Lyngdoh, in her resignation submitted to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, said: "For the most part of my life, I have been a staunch supporter and foot soldier of the Indian National Congress. The party gave me the opportunity to serve the people of Meghalaya as a Minister and as a representative of my East Shillong constituency.
"However, recent developments within the party have led me to believe that it has lost its sense of direction. There has been a pressing need for the party and its leadership to reflect on this. Sincere and honest attempts to lead such self-introspection, I believe, have failed."
Lyngdoh, who is also a former minister, added: "The party has lost touch with the people of Meghalaya, and I no longer believe it is the best platform for me to serve them."
In November last year, former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma (2010-2018), along with 11 Congress MLAs, quit the Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress making the West Bengal-based party the main opposition party in Meghalaya.
On December 14, sitting independent MLA Samuel Sangma and three just-resigned legislators -- Benedict Marak and Ferlin C.A. Sangma of the NPP and H.M. Shangpliang of the Trinamool joined the BJP in New Delhi in presence of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and BJP spokesman Sambit Patra.
Meghalaya, along with Nagaland and Tripura, are slated to go for polls in February.
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