The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on November 18, 2022 asserted that it was not a party of “outsiders” in poll-bound Meghalaya pointing out that former Chief Minister Purno A. Sangma had contested an election in the State on its ticket.
Rivals, specifically the National People’s Party (NPP) headed by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, have been projecting the TMC as a West Bengal-based entity. P.A. Sangma was the Chief Minister’s father.
“Many people are labelling the TMC as a party of outsiders. In 2004, the son of this very soil, the very respected honourable P.A. Sangmaji had contested on a Trinamool ticket. Was he an outsider then? No,” TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee told a rally in Tura, the hub of the western half of Meghalaya comprising the Garo Hills.
People who thought they could stop the TMC by making false accusations were living in a fool’s paradise, he said, virtually sounding the poll bugle for the party in Meghalaya.
Mr. Banerjee claimed Meghalaya was witnessing “complete chaos” due to the failure in leadership since 2018 when a coalition headed by the NPP took charge. The chaos would be over after the 2023 Assembly poll, he said.
“When a democratic and progressive government is installed after three months, Meghalayans will rule Meghalaya and not people from Bengal or Delhi,” he said, indicating the State government would not be remote-controlled if the TMC rises to power.
Mr. Banerjee claimed that the TMC was the only party among 1,700 political parties in India that was taking the BJP head-on and has not bowed to Delhi despite intimidation. The people in Meghalaya would thus have to fight for their rights themselves, he said.
“I am sure even before we started the meeting, pictures of the rally went to the National Puppet Party’s conman. After the rally, they are going to have sleepless nights for sure,” he said in a veiled attack on Mr. Sangma.
He claimed that the TMC had been gaining in strength. “We started our membership drive four months ago with a few hundred. Today, we have 1 lakh active members,” he said.
The TMC, which had no base in the tribal-majority State, became its principal Opposition party overnight in November 2021 when 12 of the 17 Congress MLAs jumped ship and joined it. The Congress suspended the remaining five MLAs after they sided with the NPP-led coalition government.