Dadenggre (Meghalaya):A day after he withdrew his candidature from the upcoming Meghalaya assembly elections, senior Congress leader Augustine D. Marak on Tuesday joined the opposition Trinamool Congress (TMC) with a sole intention to defeat Health and Family Welfare Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) candidate, James Sangma.
Augustine along with 200 supporters from different political parties joined the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC party here in the presence of Meghalaya TMC candidate Rupa M Marak and Dadenggre Block President Jengga Jilinga M Marak.
“In the light of the present political scenario, it is evident to everyone that the current NPP-led government should go. People from the entire length and breadth of society are annoyed with the performance of the government. This is the reason that prompted me to take this decision today like other people from all walks of life,” Augustine said.
Taking a jibe on performance of the incumbent Dadenggre representative to the Meghalaya Assembly James Sangma, the veteran politician said, “I am the one who was spearheading the James Sangma’s return to power in the last election hoping that James will be the natural choice for CM as Conrad did not contest the Assembly election.”
“We thought it would be a matter of pride for us if the MLA from Dadenggre becomes Chief Minister. But after the formation of government James could not perform at any portfolio given to him. That is why I said in the speech that James is not even fit to be an MLA now. The atmosphere here at the event shows that people are really fed up with James and his way of dealing with the people,” he alleged.
Elaborating on his decision to join Meghalaya TMC, Augustine said, “Some reports have come out suggesting that the votes might get split between Congress and TMC and this might benefit the party that is not fit to win. This is why I am taking Vincent Pala head-on for abandoning Garo Hills. People from Kolkata have visited this part multiple times but he couldn’t come here from Shillong.”
Praising the ideals of Trinamool Congress that call for standing up for the rights of minorities, Augustine D Marak said, “When the funds for Mother Teresa charity [Missionaries of Charity] were blocked by the Centre, our Chief Minister was silent. Neither your MLA James Sangma nor MP Agatha Sangma said a word against the move. But Trinamool MPs from West Bengal – Mahua Moitra and Derek O’Brien – spoke on our behalf.
Expressing his delight for the support extended by Augustine, TMC candidate from Dadenggre assembly seat Rupa Marak said, “With the support from uncle and several leaders who are here to support me, I am very confident that we will manage to get through this election. On the counting day, we will come out with flying colours.”