Shillong, Jan 8: NCP legislator Marthon Sangma and four other Independent legislators, are set to join Meghalaya’s ruling Congress to contest the upcoming assembly polls, a party leader said on Monday.
The move of the five legislators to join Congress is significant after seven of its legislators had resigned as members of the assembly and joined other political parties.
Independent legislators – Brigady Marak, Ashahel D Shira, Michael Sangma and David Nongrum – who are supporting the Mukul Sangma government had already applied for party ticket to contest the elections.
“They (Nationalist Congress Party and four Independents legislators) have evinced interest to be part of the Congress family. They will be joining us soon and contest the elections on Congress ticket,” state Congress chief Celestine Lyngdoh told IANS.
“Some of them left the Congress party the other day and we are glad that these five legislators are joining us and they would surely retain their seats in the assembly,” he said.
NCP legislator Sangma said he decided to contest upcoming assembly elections on a Congress ticket since it will retain power in Meghalaya and there is no other alternative party in the state.
“I am confident that voters in Garo Hills (24 seats in western part of Meghalaya) will not vote for the BJP due to its anti-Christian activities and the NPP too will suffer defeat since it is a part of the BJP-led NDA government at the centre and Manipur,” Sangma told IANS.
However, the National People’s Party (NPP) has decided not to have pre-poll alliance with the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections.
Last week, five former Congress legislators – Rowell Lyngdoh, Prestone Tynsong, Coming One Ymbon, Ngaitlang Dhar and Sniawbhalang Dhar – joined the NPP.
Former Congress legislator Alexander Hek, who was a Health and Family Welfare minister in the Mukul Sangma cabinet before being sacked last year, joined the BJP.
Incumbent Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council P.N. Syiem, resigned from the Assembly and joined the newly-floated People’s Democratic Front.
Moreover, veteran Congress legislators including four-time Chief Minister D.D. Lapang, incumbent Deputy Chief Minister Roytre Christopher Laloo and Health and Family Welfare Minister Roshan Warjri, have been declared “retired” from electoral politics.