Mukul Sangma battles to hold on as Meghalaya CM
The political turmoil within the ruling Congress in Meghalaya over demands for Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s removal appears to be far from over. A senior Congress leader said the latest political crisis has accentuated following the massive defeat of Congress candidate Dikkanchi D. Shira, who is Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s wife, in the Tura Lok Sabha by-election.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Sangma’s son Conrad Sangma won the bypoll by more than 1.92 lakh votes. On the other hand, Chief Minister Sangma on Tuesday accused the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to destabilise his three-year-old Meghalaya United Alliance government’s second term.
A TV report on Tuesday claimed Mukul Sangma sent a note to the Congress leadership that a few “dissident” legislators met BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav and Assam’s BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma in a bid to destabilise his government.
“The party not in power will try to destabilise the government. It is nothing new and they also made an attempt last year to destabilise my government by bringing a no-confidence motion against assembly Speaker (Abu Taher Mondal),” Mukul told IANS over phone.
On the note sent to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Mukul Sangma said: “Those are internal matters. The Congress party has an inherent system of dealing with such situations as part of our internal mechanism.”
Sangma maintained that his government was stable.
In the 60-member legislature, the Congress has 30 seats, and has the support of the Nationalist Congress Party’s two members and 11 Independent legislators.
The Congress was defeated in almost all 24 assembly segments, which cover Tura parliamentary consituency, barring Ampati assembly segment represented by Mukul Sangma.
In fact, Shira even failed to win in her own Mahendraganj constituency, which she won in her maiden assembly election by 6,859 votes. In this segment, Shira received 11,201 votes while Conrad secured 12,301 votes.