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Trinamool yet to get acceptance in Meghalaya, MLAs reluctant to enter 2023 fray on party ticket


SHILLONG: Barely six months after 12 MLAs of the opposition Congress in Meghalaya switched over to the TMC, not all seems well in the Mamata Banerjee-led camp with several legislators apparently expressing their reluctance to contest 2023 assembly elections on party tickets, one of its senior members said on Wednesday.

Many legislators are "actively considering" the option of joining the ruling National People's Party (NPP) or its ally, the United Democratic Party (UDP), the TMC leader, also an MLA, stated.

He said that the party was finding it difficult to gain acceptance in more than half of the 60 constituencies in the state, especially in the Khasi - Jaintia Hills region.

"All is not well in the Meghalaya unit of the TMC. At least two MLAs have openly aired their reluctance to contest 2023 on party tickets. Some others have shared similar views, albeit not openly. I have already discussed the matter with our leader Mukul Sangma," he told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

Led by Sangma, the leader of opposition in the Assembly, 12 of the 17 Congress MLAs crossed over to West Bengal-headquartered TMC last November, making it the principal opposition party in the state.

"Voters in Khasi Jaintia Hills, which comprises 36 seats, seem reluctant to accept the party. The anti-TMC wave is real and we have to listen to our voters. Many legislators are now keen on finding a place in the ruling NPP," the MLA said.

Sangma had on Tuesday admitted that two MLAs have been told to "improve their stance" but stopped short of saying what the issue at hand was.

The former chief minister, meanwhile, cautioned the ruling National People's Party (NPP) against "over enthusiasm", acknowledging that some TMC members have expressed their desire to join NPP.

"I have reasons to tell you (NPP) that many of the sitting MLAs are going to be defeated in the next elections. Don't expect MLAs inducted through unscrupulous poaching to be assets," he said.

Despite repeated attempts, NPP spokesperson could not be reached for his comment.