Shillong: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to embark on a maiden two-day visit to Meghalaya on December 12, with the party intensifying its campaign in the poll-bound state, a Trinamool Congress leader said on Wednesday.
Banerjee’s visit to Meghalaya will come days after one of the 12 TMC legislators, Himalaya Muktan Shangpliang resigned from the primary membership of the party as well as from the state assembly to join the BJP.
Shangpliang, along with 11 other Congress MLAs, led by former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and ex-Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope, had merged with the Banerjee-led party in November last year.
Three more Trinamool legislators – Marthon Sangma, Jimmy D Sangma and Shitlang Pale – are likely to quit the party later this month. Marthon and Jimmy could seek re-election on NPP (National People’s Party) ticket, while Pale would be joining the United Democratic Party (UDP), the major constituent of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.
Pyngrope, who is the president of TMC in Meghalaya, said, Banerjee is slated to arrive on December 12 to discuss strategies with party leaders of the state for the upcoming state Assembly elections.
“She will meet party workers from all the 60 assembly seats and would also interact with civil society groups and leaders of the state,” he said, adding that the West Bengal Chief Minister will also participate in a pre-Christmas celebration with children in Shillong.
On whether the TMC supremo would make attempts to pacify the three party legislators who are planning to leave the party before the State Assembly elections, Pyngrope said, “There is no question of pacifying or not pacifying. Doors are open and not closed and those who want to come they will come back”.
Earlier, TMC legislature party leader and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said two to four of the party legislators had personally indicated that they would quit the party.
“We have nothing against the TMC leadership in the state or for that matter with any of the TMC leaders. We decided not to contest on TMC ticket, as people in Meghalaya, especially in the rural constituencies, perceive it as a ‘Bengali’ party,” one of the three TMC legislators said on condition of anonymity.
“My supporters tried to explain to them about TMC but it is difficult to explain. Therefore, I will decide accordingly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the TMC is reportedly preparing to field its candidates in all the 60 assembly seats in the state.