Ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections in the State, it looks like NPP is in trouble in a number of constituencies in Garo Hills with the latest exit of two party MLAs and two sitting MDCs.
With the resignation of two NPP legislators from the Assembly to pave the way for their entry to the BJP, the ruling party led by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma appears to be on the back foot.
It may be mentioned that Raksamgre MLA Benedic Marak, Selsella MLA Ferlin C. Sangma and Mawsynram MLA Himalaya M. Shangpliang today resigned their membership of the Assembly and said that they will be joining the BJP.
The resignation was officially notified by the Assembly Secretariat today.
Benedic and Ferlin belonged to the NPP while Shangpliang was elected on Congress ticket before he decided to switch over to the Trinamool Congress in November last year.
Benedic has already been denied the NPP ticket with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma recently announcing former Congress legislator Limison D. Sangma as the new candidate of NPP from Raksamgre for the 2023 polls.
Benedic, who is also a sitting MDC, has been at loggerheads with Conrad ever since he was ousted as Chief Executive Member of GHADC in January this year.
Ferlin decided to leave the NPP as there were clear indications that she may lose the party ticket to contest from Selsella.
There were unconfirmed reports that Conrad may contest the 2023 elections from Selsella instead of South Tura.
Conrad had been an MLA of Selsella in 2008 before he shifted to South Tura in 2018.
With both Benedic and Ferlin seeking to contest the 2023 polls on BJP ticket, the NPP will find itself in a tight spot since Trinamool Congress too is gaining strength in Garo Hills.
Sources said that there was a strong anti-incumbency mood against the ruling NPP in various constituencies of Garo Hills with the Trinamool Congress and BJP making their presence felt in the region.
Another NPP legislator S G Esmatur Mominin is also reportedly unhappy with his party. There were reports that he was in touch with the Trinamool Congress.
The Phulbari MLA had recently said that if he was denied a party ticket he would consult his workers and make a final decision.
Spelling more trouble to the NPP is the decision by two sitting party MDCs – Dhormonath Sangma and former Chief Executive Member Dipul R. Marak and former MDC Sukharam K. Sangma to join the BJP.
Sources said the three will be the saffron party’s candidates in the 2023 polls.
While Dhormonath Sangma may contest from Tikrikilla, Dipul Marak is likely to contest from Rangsakona and Sukharam K. Sangma from Resubelpara constituency.