The decision of the Congress high command to appoint Vincent Pala as Meghalaya Congress president has proved costly for the party in the State.
Apart from losing twelve party MLAs who recently defected to the Trinamool Congress, the grand old party is imploding in the State with the exit of several senior leaders of the party.
Majority of them blamed Pala for the “destruction” of the Congress in Meghalaya and said that more are leaving the party in the coming days if the present leadership is allowed to continue.
Today, former party MLA and veteran party member Mukul Das quit the party after 49 years of being with the party. He had served as general secretary of Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee in the past.
Das who joined the Congress in 1972 as a youth Congress member said that he decided to call it quits as “developments taking place and circumstances prevailing now in the party and around go on without any correction”.
In another setback to the Congress, several members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) Meghalaya unit today announced their resignation from the party.
Speaking to media persons here, NSUI Meghalaya president Bansharailang Pyngrope said that he and several members of the party’s student wing have decided to leave the party as they were unhappy with the style of functioning of Pala.
“The reason for all of us to leave is not due to the Congress party, the NSUI or its leadership but because of the business approach of the newly appointed State Congress chief who does not have any regard for hard work, sincerity and dedication,” Pyngrope said.
He alleged that when he met Pala after he took over as the new State Congress president he was shocked that Pala asked him how much money he had amassed as the State president of NSUI.
“The very fact that I was asked how much money that I had to be NSUI president hurt not just my sentiment but that of my family as well,” he added.
Pyngrope also said that the nail on the coffin of the Congress in Meghalaya was hit by Pala along with the AICC in-charge of Meghalaya Manish Chatrath.
He also said that Pala has transformed Congress into a business-minded party and less of a political party to serve the people of the State.
He also said that a day after the 12 Congress MLAs joined the Trinamool Congress he got a call from the NSUI national president who informed that the NSUI Meghalaya unit was dissolved at the behest of Pala.
Stating that except for Mohendro Rapsang, not one from the Congress leaders called the NSUI after this incident.
Pyngrope praised former Congress legislators Himalaya Shangpliang, Charles Pyngrope, George Lyngdoh, and Shitlang Pale for their leadership qualities.
NSUI State vice president Changkam M. Sangma in his resignation letter said that the Congress ideology was destroyed by Pala.
“There is no doubt on how good the ideology of Congress is, but few individuals in the helms of affairs in the State Congress leadership seem to be playing the game of chess with their members by appointing anyone to any position without due diligence. Sadly in this cause not a chess master but a dilettante,” Sangma said.
It may be mentioned that yesterday, State Congress working president James Lyngdoh and former general secretary Dr. Manas Das Gupta resigned from the party as they were fed up with the way they were treated by Pala.
Lyngdoh joined the Congress in 1988 and was in the party for 33 years, holding many posts.
Meanwhile, in a face saving exercise the Congress has appointed Deborah C. Marak and Pynshngain N. Syiem as working presidents in place of Lyngdoh and Marthon Sangma who have left the party.
Billykid Sangma, Grithalson Arengh, Roger Benny A. Sangma, E. Oscar Phira, Manuel Badwar have been appointed as general secretaries.