The Congress has been going into electoral battle cavalier attitude without the drive to win, former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told NDTV on Thursday, detailing why he and 11 other MLAs switched to the Trinamool Congress.
“We (the Congress) go to electoral battle not to win. It is ‘Chalta hai’ attitude with which we go,” Dr Sangma said, explaining why the party lost the previous state elections. He said the Congress had been weakened in several states and had no credible plans for a revival.
“Unfortunately, there are many other senior leaders as well, who have tried to talk to the Senior leadership in Congress, but to no avail… it’s not like Dr Mukul Sangma has not tried. Dr Mukul Sangma has made an attempt after attempt to have audience [with the Congress leadership],” Dr Sangma said, when asked if he had tried discussing the problems with the party’s leadership before switching to the Trinamool.
The former Chief Minister said it was election strategist Prashant Kishor who approached him to join the Trinamool. The two sides held multiple rounds of talks and it was a “long-drawn task”.
“We also did a little research at our own end… and looked at if it’s possible to align with anybody. Then he (Prashant Kishor) also suggested… that you need to look at this particular space (the Trinamool) which is available,” Dr Sangma said.
The assertion came on a day when the Trinamool – a spin-off of the Congress-led by Mamata Banerjee – took in Mukul Sangma and 11 other Congress MLAs in a huge coup for West Bengal’s ruling party in the northeast.
The Meghalaya MLAs submitted a letter to assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh around 10 pm on Wednesday, informing him of their change of status, sources said.
The development, which makes the Trinamool Congress the principal opposition party in the state, came a day after Congress leaders Kirti Azad and Ashok Tanwar as well as Pawan Varma, formerly of Janata Dal (United), joined the Trinamool Congress in Delhi in the presence of party chief Mamata Banerjee currently visiting the national capital.