Congress lost 12 MLAs of Meghalaya in a big blow. They work closely with TMC

New Delhi: The Congress party in Meghalaya suffered a setback on Wednesday night when 12 of its 17 MLAs in the state, former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, switched sides to the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

With the sudden move, the TMC, which had practically no presence in the north-eastern state, became the single largest opposition party in the 60-member house. The state is ruled by the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, which is led by the National People’s Party, and the BJP is a minor participant in it.

Senior Congress leaders in Meghalaya, including Sangma and state unit chief Vincent H Pala, did not pick up calls, while people familiar with the development said that Congress MLAs led by the former chief minister have already submitted their resignations to Speaker Metba Lyngdoh.

Wednesday’s developments come two months after speculations surfaced that Sangma was upset with the Congress leadership and was planning to quit the party and join the TMC. At that time the former CM had termed these reports as rubbish and said that these are mere speculations.

Sangma was unhappy at being sidelined during Pala’s appointment to a party post in August and started skipping Congress programs in Meghalaya. There were also rumors that he was thinking of joining other parties, including the BJP.