Mukul Sangma was reportedly ignored by AICC when MP Vincent H. Pala was made State party chief
Former Meghalaya Chief Minister and Congress veteran Mukul Sangma met Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in Kolkata on September 21, triggering speculations amid a reported rift within the Congress in the northeastern State.
Dr. Sangma did not take calls, but a party loyalist confirmed his meeting with Mr. Banerjee at Netaji House in the West Bengal capital Tuesday night.
“He was in Kolkata for some work and honoured an invitation from the TMC leadership. Nothing much should be read into the meeting,” the loyalist from the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya said on September 22. Dr. Sangma is from the Garo Hills.
Series of events
The import of the meeting, however, was not lost on many in Meghalaya, given a series of events pointing to a rift within the Congress.
A few days ago, Dr. Sangma and some MLAs from the Garo Hills (Meghalaya’s western half) skipped a programme where five senior leaders rejoined Congress. They included former Home Minister Robert Garnett Lyngdoh and MLA Pynshnaignlang Syiem.
The former Chief Minister and his loyalists also avoided a function to mark the formal anointment of Lok Sabha member Vincent H. Pala as the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president.
According to a party leader, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) did not keep Dr. Sangma in the loop while choosing Mr. Pala as the State unit chief.
No rift: Pala
Mr. Pala junked speculations about a rift within the party. He said Dr. Sangma’s experience would do a world of good to Congress in its bid to regain power after the 2023 Assembly elections.
“I always consider him [Dr. Sangma] as the boss and a friend in the party,” he stated.
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