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None can replace Pala as MPCC chief: Cong

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SHILLONG, May 9: The working president of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), PN Syiem on Thursday said state Congress chief Vincent H Pala continues to be the undisputed leader of the grand old party in Meghalaya.
“We have no one at the moment who can replace Pala as the MPCC chief,” he said while rubbishing reports on internal rumblings within the party.
Asked if there will be any change in the party set-up if Pala fails to be re-elected from the Shillong parliamentary seat for the fourth consecutive term, Syiem said it is too early to predict such a scenario.
“But I confidently say that he (Pala) still enjoys the support of everyone. We have never discussed the issue of leadership within the party,” he said.
Syiem said Pala has been able to rebuild the party after it faced a major setback when all the MLAs deserted the party ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls. The party has started to regain the confidence of the people, he added.
“The efforts of rebuilding the party will continue. We are receiving good reports from the Garo Hills. Our candidate from the Tura Parliamentary seat, Saleng A Sangma has a strong chance of winning,” he said.
Earlier, Congress Legislature Party leader Ronnie V Lyngdoh said there was no loss of faith in Pala’s leadership. He termed a report about a rift between him and the MPCC chief as misleading.
“There is no truth in the report. It is an attempt to create confusion within the party. There is no such misunderstanding,” he told The Shillong Times recently.
Lyngdoh also attributed the resurgence of Congress in Garo Hills to Pala. “Saleng Sangma has given a strong challenge to the NPP’s sitting MP Agatha K Sangma in Tura. Winning or losing is a different case. NPP leaders also have admitted that if she wins, it will be by a thin margin,” he said.
He recalled his visit to Delhi with Pala to impress upon the party’s central leadership to award the Tura ticket to Saleng Sangma as part of the efforts to revive the party.
“We are happy with the work done by Pala. We won five seats in Meghalaya despite contesting the 2023 Assembly polls with no sitting MLA only because of his leadership. When good things happen everyone tries to take credit. When something bad happens, why blame only one person?” Lyngdoh asked.
A former Congress MLA claimed the clash of ego between Pala and Lyngdoh destroyed the party in Meghalaya. He had also said the Congress leadership should have understood the implications of putting these two individuals against each other at the cost of the party.
“Pala was instrumental in destroying Congress. Which sane person would want to be a leader without grassroots support? This approach of the AICC proved detrimental. The ones who did not want to leave eventually exited the party and ones who remained were suspended,” he said.

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