BJP in talks with 2 sitting legislators

Saffron party had approached three sitting MLAs

SHILLONG, Dec 1: Amidst the politics of desertion in the state ahead of Assembly elections, the BJP is believed to have approached Trinamool Congress’ state president Charles Pyngrope, party MLA George B Lyngdoh and suspended Congress legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh to bring them into its fold.
Sources on Thursday said the saffron party’s discussions with Pyngrope and Ampareen were underway. The two are in touch with senior BJP leader Rituraj Sinha and other leaders of the party, the sources said.
The development comes amidst reports that former MLAs Himalaya Shangpliang (TMC) and Benedic Marak and Ferlin CA Sangma (both NPP) will join the BJP after the Gujarat election process is over and contest the polls. They resigned from the Assembly the other day.
When contacted, Ampareen admitted she is holding the discussions, not just with the BJP but other political parties as well.
“I am talking to all political parties barring the Congress as they don’t want me. There is no harm for me to meet any party leaders,” she said, adding she has not taken any decision and that she will first try to find out what her supporters want.
“As soon as I am ready, I will announce my decision. This should happen not later than December,” she added.
Pyngrope refused to comment on the matter.
Speculations are rife that several MLAs will change their political colours in the lead up to the polls, expected in February next year.

George Lyngdoh
declines offer
However, the BJP’s attempt to poach George B Lyngdoh has fallen flat. He has declined its offer.
Alleging that the NPP and the BJP are resorting to poaching, Lyngdoh told The Shillong Times: “I also have been approached by the BJP but I don’t want to get into that kind of a system where they only want to win elections without governing the state.”
“We see the NPP-BJP government has been doing politics for the past four years and nine months and they want to bring development in three months. This is why, we see the state the way it is. We wanted development in four years and nine months and politics in three months,” Lyngdoh said.
He claimed people are discontented from the government and now, when the polls are round the corner, the ruling parties are trying to show they are pro-development. He criticised the government for its decision to set up border outposts, stating it woke up only after five lives were lost.
“Nothing has been done at all. We saw images on ground zero yesterday of people going to give food items to police personnel. This means the essential items had not reached the personnel. Even the place where they are lodged is not proper,” Lyngdoh alleged.
On the two NPP MLAs leaving the party, he said, “Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has been constantly stating on the floor of the House that when you point your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back to you. People are leaving the party backdoor.”
Claiming that people have lost their faith in the NPP and that anti-incumbency is huge, he said those who have been with the party for four and half years have now realized that the grass is not green there. He said more leaders might desert the party.
On the NPP’s claim that two TMC leaders are set to join its fold, Lyngdoh said, “The TMC will not be surprised if some of its MLAs leave the party. We have done an analysis on ground realities. It is not necessary that people will get a ticket just because they are MLAs.”
Without taking any names, he said the party learnt about the move of some leaders joining the BJP from newspapers.

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