Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma on Tuesday asked the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) not to expect that all the MLAs will be their “assets” in 2023, even as he predicted that many sitting legislators irrespective of party lines are going to be defeated in the upcoming Assembly polls.
“Don’t expect all those MLAs who through unscrupulous poaching exercises will be their assets. Maybe they will be much more of a burden rather than being assets,” Mukul told reporters while slamming the NPP for poaching the sitting legislators of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and other political parties.
“I will be very blunt and this may not be pleasant for many that I have reasons to share with you that many of the sitting MLAs are going to be defeated. Therefore, which political party after knowing fully well that the sitting MLA is going to lose is going to nominate the MLA to be their candidate to take on other political parties in the 2023 elections,” he said.
Stating that the AITC provides an effective platform for new fresh bloods who have sincere intend and commitment to join this challenging profession of being in the political class to have their political innings, Dr. Sangma said, “Out of the 60 MLAs, I am not confining only to the MLAs which belong to my party, out of the 60 MLAs do they want to say that all the 60 MLAs will be re-elected by the people of the state, revisit the past 2018, 2013 what has happened? how many elected MLAs who fought elections were defeated, that means it’s a trend. It’s a indication of the desire of the electorates to induct fresh blood but how will you be able to leverage upon this trend for creating a kind of a team which will assume upon itself the collective responsibility of serving the people with utmost sense of sincerity, commitment and honesty.”
Dr. Mukul also recalled that in 2018, out of 5 seats in Ri Bhoi district, all the MLAs are new faces. Similarly in West Khasi Hills, which has 3 seats, all the sitting MLAs were fresh faces as people chose to elect new leaders.
“Same thing happened in North Garo Hills and same thing happened in East Garo Hills, where all the three MLAs were defeated,” he said.
Reacting to Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma’s claim that seven rebel AITC legislators have expressed interest to fight the polls on NPP ticket, the Leader of Opposition however said, “Irrespective of what he (CM) says, a number of the MLAs from the NPP are going to be candidates of other political parties – that is a fact because I know the minds of many of the MLAs.”
He also added, “The MLAs from NPP will be contesting from other political parties but not from AITC. At least I am giving you an assurance that we are not in the poaching spree unlike them.”
Dr. Mukul said that the NPP are not only engaging in poaching sitting legislators of the AITC but also from their coalition partners adding “It is vice-versa the same thing is also being adopted by other political parties. This is something which is an unprecedented and very unhealthy trend.”
“They have been aggressively wasting their time in poaching our MLAs. Poaching is something which is not consistent with the kind of political morale and ethics. They are so desperate because they don’t have candidates who can win so they are engaging in poaching,” he further alleged.
Accusing the chief minister of indulging in disinformation and misinformation, the AITC leader said it is indicative of his desperation to create that perception because people are looking at Trinamool Congress as on a daily basis hundreds of people are joining this political party.
“We don’t have to play to the gallery. So his (CM) attempt is relevant to this development that is taking place in ground zero. That means he wants to create misinformation and disinformation to indicate that why are you guys joining Trinamool Congress, MLAs are already about to leave but which MLAs is he talking about, I know all the MLAs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sangma maintained that “as far as Trinamool Congress is concerned, besides the veterans we are going to provide opportunity for fresh bloods to enter into politics, those fresh blood who think that they can be part of this team, who will confront the whole political bandwagon who is at present is in the ruling dispensation.”
He further claimed that people of the state will be seeing new political dynamics unfolding in the months to come.