Shillong, Sep 29: Senior leader Mukul Sangma could have become the next Chief Minister under a unified Congress but that did not happen due to the disintegration of the party prior to the Assembly polls, the MPCC working president, Deborah Marak said.
The Congress secured only 5 seats though the party fielded candidates in all the 60 seats.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Deborah said the main reason for the poll debacle was the exodus of the party MLAs ahead of the Assembly polls.
According to Deborah, the Congress could have formed the government under the leadership of Mukul Sangma in 2023 but the division in the party brought its downfall enabling the candidates of other parties especially the NPP to emerge victorious.
Deborah said she will not blame Pala for not being able to be successful in the Assembly polls because there are many reasons behind why he could not make it.
“One reason you all know is that just before the election there was a faction in the Congress and due to that Congress could not come up well otherwise if we fought together in the last election, Mukul Sangma would have been chief minister of the State,” Deborah added.
Initially, 12 out of 17 Congress legislators under the leadership of Mukul quit the party and joined Trinamool Congress. Later, the remaining five joined other parties after the announcement of the polls.
After the Assembly polls in 2018, the Congress had won 21 seats but the parties preferred to come under the umbrella of Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) led by the NPP.
Tura LS seat
Deborah said her candidature for the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Tura parliamentary seat will be decided by the party high command.
“I cannot say right now whether I will contest or not because it will depend on the party leadership. If they ask me to contest, I have to contest,” Deborah added.
Tura parliamentary seat is represented by NPP MP Agatha K Sangma.
The former Williamnagar legislator said the Congress has a good chance from Garo Hills.
“If we work hard, definitely there is a good chance. When I fought with Agatha I did very well but after that I did not continue fighting”, she said.
When asked whether Congress will be able to defeat the NPP, which is in power in the state, Deborah said, “Always money doesn’t work. If they are in power also, it will not work. Politics changes everyday. It depends on how the party re-organises at the grassroot level and how we will work hard.”
She said the party is gearing up for preparations for the Lok Sabha elections and informed that the issue will be discussed in the upcoming meeting at Tura Congress Bhavan on October 3, where all leaders and members of the district congress committees (DCCs), block congress committees (BCCs), mahila and youth Congress will be present.
Shillong LS seat
Deborah expressed confidence that the Congress will retain the Shillong parliamentary seat.
“Vincent H Pala will contest again. I still have confidence in winning this seat. Why not? People will still vote for him,” she said.
According to Deborah, Pala as a president of the MPCC ‘is very good’. “He is looking after the party very well. Though he is very busy, he is working very well. I appreciate him,” she said.