Saturday, July 13, 2024

Back to Congress? TMC MLAs wary of anti-defection ‘hurdle’


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, July 1: State Trinamool Congress president Charles Pyngrope on Monday said the party MLAs cannot return to the Congress even if there is an offer because of the anti-defection law.
On Sunday, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Ronnie V Lyngdoh said Congress would accommodate all, including the TMC leader and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma if they are willing to work in the interest of the party.
Reacting to the statement, Pyngrope told The Shillong Times that the situation is different for the former Congress leaders who are non-MLAs as they can return to the party anytime they want to.
“But for the MLAs, it is going to be difficult because of the anti-defection law,” he said.
Pyngrope, however, said that it will be a different scenario if either four or all the five TMC legislators decide to go back.
Asked if he will go back to Congress if there is an offer from the AICC, he said he has no such intention at the moment.
“Let’s not go into specifics or individuals. It is not a question of one, two, or three persons. The doors of Congress are open to everyone if they are willing to work in the interest of the party and within its ideology,” Lyngdoh had said earlier.
He was reacting to a query if Congress would allow Sangma and his team to return to the party. The Congress’ newly-elected Tura MP, Saleng A Sangma recently stated that he would not allow the former CM and his team to rejoin Congress.
Asked about it, Lyngdoh said, “You will have to ask the MP because as a party, we are yet to discuss this. But Congress will welcome everyone and anyone. We are not talking about any particular individual.”
To another query, he said Congress will discuss the issue of the return of Mukul Sangma and his team at the right time and the right place.
“People still have their trust in the party. Because of various reasons, they left us but after our good results all over India, they are now turning back to the party although they (TMC leaders) have not contacted us formally,” Lyngdoh said.
“Forget the leaders, people also want to see Congress back in power because of its performance, inclusivity, etc,” he claimed.
Nothing wrong in VPP’s abstention: Pyngrope
Pyngrope said there was nothing wrong in the decision of the VPP to abstain from taking part in the recent election of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Pyngrope said abstention is a part and parcel of parliamentary process.
According to him, a party is free to express itself as long as the same is not against parliamentary practice.
To a query, he said he will not be able to comment why the VPP maintained a neutral position. He said there must be some ground for it.
The Congress has already criticised the VPP. Congress Legislature Party Leader, Ronnie V Lyngdoh had stated on Thursday that the VPP’s decision to abstain from the Speaker’s election showed the party lacks the courage of conviction.
“You are either for or against something. You cannot be neither here nor there,” Lyngdoh had stated.
Questioning the VPP’s absence, he said, “The Speaker is the authority in the House and they rejected the Speaker’s election. I think the VPP should explain why they abstained because it does not make any sense,” Lyngdoh had stated.
“They should take a stand if it comes to any policy or law. Either you support it or you don’t support it but it was very strange in this case,” he had remarked.


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