Meghalaya: Setback for Congress, senior leader Ampareen Lyngdoh quits
In a major setback to the Congress in Meghalaya ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections, senior party leader and MLA Dr. Ampareen Lyngdoh has quit the grand old party. The former state minister is set to join the ruling National People's Party (NPP) along with another MLA, reported Hindustan Times. Notably, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is an alliance partner in Meghalaya's NPP-led government.
Why does this story matter?
- After the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections, political parties are shifting their focus to Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland, which will go to polls soon.
- These states will have elections in the next two-three months, which are crucial for the BJP and Congress.
- While PM Narendra Modi has started wooing voters with his visits and project announcements, Congress has an uphill task in the northeast.
Lyngdoh posted resignation letter on Twitter
"I have tendered my formal resignation from [Indian National Congress] (sic)," Lyngdoh wrote on Twitter on Monday and attached a copy of her resignation letter. She also tagged Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the tweet. The development comes a day after the BJP sounded the poll bugle in Meghalaya and Tripura with PM Modi's visits.
Lyngdoh alleges Congress lost its sense of direction
"Recent developments within the party have led me to believe that it has lost its sense of direction," read Lyngdon's resignation letter. "There has been a pressing need for the party and the leadership to reflect on this. Sincere and honest attempts to lead such self-introspection I believe have failed," it added. She claimed the Congress also "lost touch with the people of Meghalaya."
Some crucial defections in Meghalaya
According to The Indian Express, three sitting MLAs in Meghalaya resigned last month to join the BJP, two from the ruling NPP and one from the Opposition in the state, the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The NPP's Benedict R Marak (Raksamgre) and Fairlene Sangma (Selsella), as well as TMC lawmaker Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang (Mawsynram), have left their respective parties, the report said.
Rift in ruling coalition partners
Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma earlier announced the NPP would contest alone in the next polls. Recently, some NPP MLAs joined BJP hinting at a rift between the allies. Experts, however, believe this will have deeper ramifications for the BJP if it takes on one of its oldest allies. The ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) has 21 NPP MLAs and two BJP MLAs, among others.