Jolt to MPF as two Garo Hills MLAs quit alliance

SHILLONG: A day before the five day- autumn session of the Assembly, the Opposition alliance Meghalaya People’s Front (MPF) received a jolt when two Independent members, John Leslee K. Sangma and Saleng  A Sangma on Tuesday withdrew their support citing lack of co-ordination within the alliance.
Leslee and Slaeng submitted their letters of withdrawal from MPF to the Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy with a copy to the Assembly Speaker AT Mondal on Tuesday.
However, the duo will remain with the Opposition but not under MPF banner like HSPDP which is also not a part of MPF.
With the withdrawal of support, the MPF is now left with just 10 members, 8 UDP and 2 NPP legislators. However, the Opposition Leader Roy will not lose his position as the minimum numbers to claim the position of Opposition Leader is 1/6th of the House which will be 10 members, according to the Assembly Speaker.
Mondal said he received only a copy of the withdrawal letter from the legislators.
Roy  did not return the calls after he was contacted to get reactions on the allegations of both Leslee and Saleng, who had expressed lack of  faith in MPF.
Leslee, making it clear that they will not join the Congress-led MUA-II coalition, said that what compelled them to leave MPF was lack of co-ordination and collective decisions.
Leslee also blamed NPP leader James Sangma, who is the Opposition Chief whip for not taking the MPA members into confidence as the latter was interested in issuing statements related to common issues only in the name of NPP and not in the name of MPF.
Leslee also pointed out that there should have been proper co-ordination by the leaders of MPF which should have ensured the Opposition members to highlight several burning issues concerning the state.
When contacted, NPP leader James Sangma said that it was unfortunate that the two members have withdrawn from MPF and added that it was not true that he was giving statement only  on behalf of NPP. “Many times I had sent statements on behalf of MPF also. “They are my colleague and friends, I have nothing to comments on which side they want to align”, James said.
According to James, It would have been better for all as constructive Opposition to work together for the interest of the state.
Earlier, even during the formation of MPF in 2013, the four HSPDP legislators refused to work under MPF which was spearheaded by the UDP-NPP combine. However, HSPDP has remained with the Opposition.
Now the Opposition has gone three ways, one MPF with UDP-NPP coalition with 10 members, another two member Leslee-Saleng combine and the third is HSPDP comprising four legislators.

Party position

MUA-II                            Opposition
Cong        30           MPF (UDP 8+NPP 2=10)
NCP          2                 Ind                2
Ind        12                 HSPDP                4
Total         44                   Total               16

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