The NCP in Meghalaya got a shot in the arm, as Independent MLA, Saleng A. Sangma took over as state president after quitting as member of the Assembly here on Monday.
Before taking charge as NCP president, Saleng submitted his resignation letter to Assembly Speaker, A.T. Mondal at the Assembly secretariat (administrative block), Khyndai Lad here.?
Since the Speaker was not in station, Saleng handed over his resignation letter to the commissioner and secretary of the Assembly.
Saleng won for the second time, first in 2008 as Congress MLA and in 2013 as Independent MLA from Gambegre constituency.
With Saleng’s resignation, the strength of the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly was brought down to 46. Including Saleng, 14? MLAs had resigned from the Assembly – seven ?from the ruling Congress, five Independents, ?one NCP and one United Democratic Party had resigned as members of the Assembly.
Saleng has been appointed as the NCP state president in the place of his predecessor, Sanbor Shullai, who was removed from the post last year after he planned to join the BJP.
Shullai was the two-time NCP legislator from Shillong South constituency and ?joined the BJP two weeks ago.
Saleng told reporters that as leader, he does not want to create a “vacuum” among communities – Khasi Garo and Jaintia in the state
Saleng said that when Shullai was the NCP president, no one called the NCP a “Khasi party.”
Saleng is the leader from Garo Hills which has 24 Assembly seats.
The NCP was earlier led by former Lok Sabha Speaker, late Purno Agitok Sangma. Later late Sangma joined the National People’s Party (NPP), after which, Shullai took over as NCP president in Meghalaya.
“There are people who try to politicise these things. We should not create any vacuum among the Khasi, Garo and Jaintia. The ideology of every party is good but it is up to the leader how to lead the people,” the new NCP president said.
He also criticized the present chief minister, Mukul Sangma, for laying maximum foundation stones in Garo hills.
“These vacuums should be filled up and change the perception as we are all Meghalayans and equal development should be shared among the people of the state,” Saleng stressed.
Saleng said that he would build the party with the people and look forward to lead the people in a better way.
“Our state is totally backward. It was once an educational hub, but it is not anymore now and people from the state have to go outside for study,” Saleng said.
The NCP is likely to declare its first list of candidates on Tuesday, the day when NCP national general secretary former Praful Patel will arrive for a two-day visit to Meghalaya.
Patel will lay a foundation stone for constructing the party office in Shillong and will visit Garo Hills on Wednesday.