Two Meghalaya legislators back away from opposition alliance

Shillong: Two independent legislators in Meghalaya on Tuesday withdrew support to the opposition Meghalaya People’s Front (MPF) alliance, saying it failed to live up to its commitment to raise issues affecting the people of the state.

Saleng Sangma and John Leslee K. Sangma submitted their letter of withdrawal of support to MPF president Donkupar Roy, who is also Leader of Opposition in the assembly, just ahead of the five-day autumn session of the assembly which begins on Wednesday.

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The opposition MPF includes eight United Democratic Party legislators and two from the National People’s Party. Its strength has been reduced to 10 in the 60-member house.

The opposition Hill State People’s Democratic Party, which has four members, is not part of the MPF.

However, the two independent legislators said they would continue to sit on the opposition bench and play a constructive role as opposition legislators.

“We have withdrawn our support to the MPF since the alliance has failed to live up to its commitment to take up issues affecting the people,” Saleng told IANS.

The former community and rural development minister said the other factor forcing the two to severe ties was lack of coordination between the leader of opposition and opposition Chief Whip James Sangma with the members of the Front.

“There was no coordination. The MPF lacks team work and the members have been raising issues in and outside the assembly at an individual level for their respective constituencies,” Saleng alleged.

Rubbishing the allegation, Donkupar Roy said: “They withdrew support due to their political equations with the NPP in the Garo Hills and not because of lack of coordination or team work.”