Two senior NPP leaders quit party in GH, to join BJP

Meghalaya Five Congress MLAs resign from Assembly set to join BJP ally

5 Cong Mlas resign in Meghalaya

Lyngdoh is a minister in Chief Minister Mukul Sangma's cabinet.

It could be a major boost to BJP ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in the Congress bastion as apart from the five from Congress, three other MLAs have also joined its ally National People's Party swiftly just a day after they resigned.

The eight legislators who resigned their membership in the state assembly included Siawbhalang Dhar (Nartiang), Comingone Ymbon (Raliang), Hopeful Bamon (Sutnga Saipung), Stephanson Mukhim (Amlarem), Prestone Tynsong (Pynursula), Remington Pyngrope (Mawkynriew), Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat) and Ngaitlang Dhar (Umroi).

The resignations clearly come as a sign of worry for the Congress - both nationally and in Meghalaya - as the party has been miserably failing to wrest power in states against the victory march of the BJP which started in 2014 with Narendra Modi leading his party to power at the Centre.

The resignation of the five Congress MLAs has reduced the strength of the ruling party in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly to 24 as they come days after another party legislator PN Syiem also quit from his seat in the house.

When asked why he chose to join the NPP, Lyngdoh said that the party was on the upsurge in the State even as he added that it was not very much different from the Congress.

In the absence of Assembly Speaker Abu Taher Mondal, the eight MLAs submitted their resignation letters to Commissioner and Secretary Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Andrew Simon. Four of the five Congress Legislators were part of the state Cabinet earlier and had been sulking ever since Sangma once sacked them on alleged ground of incompetence.

While Lyngodh has been made president of a 13-member Pradesh Election Committee (PEC), Lapang's name figures at number five in the panel after that of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Vincent Pala and James S Lyngdoh. After his decision, eight other legislators chose to resign from the party to join National People's Party (NPP).

In a bid to assuage Lapang, Rahul appointed him as advisor of the Pradesh Congress Committee.

Recalling how he had built the party, John said he along with PA Sangma had worked hard to build NCP, and later NPP, in Garo Hills. In Congress history in Meghalaya, nine sitting legislators have never left the party at one go, ” Tynsong said. He said that he had advised the chief minister to get the expert opinion of the Election Commission of India and other legal experts before passing of the bill.

He, however, said that despite his negativity, Dr Sangma had a positive side too.

"We saw where we have landed ourselves laughing stock", Tynsong said.

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