The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has suspended the five Congress legislators who had joined the BJP-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government with immediate effect, State Congress party president, Vincent H.Pala said on Monday.
Terming the move of the five legislators as violation of party direction and for indulging in “anti- party” activities, Pala said the AICC has also served showcause notices to the five Congress legislators and asked them to explain as to why action should not be taken against them.
The five Congress legislators – Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh, Process T. Sawkmie, Mayralborn Syiem, Kimfa S Marbaniang and Mohendro Rapsang – have extended support to the MDA government without approval from the top party leadership.
“If the replies(to the showcause notices) satisfies the AICC, no action will be taken against the five party legislators. However, if the replies are unsatisfactory they may be even face expulsion,” he said.
Meanwhile, the five Congress legislators, who call themselves as the “famous five,” have further toughened their stand and said that they would support the BJP-backed Conrad Sangma ministry till the end of its term.
“We (five Congress legislators) have committed to support the MDA government till the end of the term,” Sawkmie said.
Election to the 60-member state assembly is scheduled to take place in February-March 2023.
Moreover, he said that none of the legislators (till filing of this report) have received any communication from the central leadership asking them what prompted them to supported the BJP-backed MDA government.
“I would not like to comment anything on the matter (suspension) as of now since we have not received any communication from the AICC. However, we would surely reply to the AICC once we received it,” Sawkmie said.
Sawkmie questioned the Congress high command of inaction when 12 Congress legislators merged with the All India Trinamool Congress.
“Why didn’t AICC say anything then? They kept quiet,” he asked, referring to the merger of the 12 Congress legislators led by former Chief Minister Mukul Manda Sangma with the West Bengal-based Trinamool Congress.
The Congress was the single largest party winning 21 seats to the 60-member house after the 2018 assembly elections.
Four Congress legislators died, while former Assembly Speaker Martin Danggo resigned and joined the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), but bite the dust in the by-election.
If the five MLAs are expelled from the party, the Congress would have no legislators representing it in the Assembly.