‘Many Cong MLAs may join NPP before 2023 Assembly polls’

SHILLONG: In what can be termed as a major concern for the Congress in Meghalaya, many MLAs from the Opposition party might join National People’s Party before the 2023 Assembly elections.
If sources are to be believed, many Congress MLAs, including some top leaders from Khasi Hills might shift allegiance to NPP ahead of the polls in two and half years from now.
Sources from the MDA confirmed that talks between a group of legislators and the NPP leadership are underway.
Reacting to a query, sources who did not wish to be named, said that last time the NPP had managed to convince as many as 11 Congress MLAs to switch over to the party but it could not get two more legislators to switch over as few MLAs from Garo Hills did not show any interest in moving to the NPP.
The NPP was looking to make 13 MLAs jump together in order to avoid the provisions of the anti-defection law or else they would have been disqualified had they shifted their allegiance to the other party.
The claims of the sources assume significance as many of the Congress MLAs who were very vocal against the government initially have now softened their aggression towards the government.
Sources also said that the Congress was now a divided house with two factions and the NPP is looking to rope in ) all the MLAs from one of the factions which has the support of quite a few MLAs in the party.
Jumping from one political party to another is not a new phenomenon in Meghalaya prior to the Assembly elections as ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections, five Congress MLAs had resigned from the party and joined NPP.
They included former deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh, Sniawbhalang Dhar, Comingone Ymbon, Prestone Tynsong and Ngaitlang Dhar. Besides, AL Hek had also defected from the Congress and joined BJP before the elections.
It is also seen that many Opposition MLAs are no longer critical of the government over several issues of the state which indicates that the legislators have developed a soft corner for the NPP.
It may be mentioned that many Congress MLAs have time and again expressed their displeasure with the party and at one point of time, a group of legislators even wanted to work with NPP by bypassing Congress senior leader and former chief minister, Mukul Sangma.

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