NCP leaders join Congress, P A Sangma says slams govt

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Shillong, Feb 11 (PTI) NCP leader and former Lok Sabhaspeaker P A Sangma today slammed the Congress-led Meghalayagovernment saying it had no "respect for democracy", a dayafter NCP�s state unit working president and seven othersenior leaders joined the Congress.

"Meghalaya has been the worst state in terms ofdevelopment, and now it is the worst where there is no rule oflaw, no respect to democracy and no respect for theconstitution," Sangma told a press conference.

His outburst came a day after state NCP working presidentE K Sangma and seven other leaders � all elected members ofthe Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) shiftedtheir allegiance to the Congress, paving the way for theruling party to clinch power in the Garo council.

"I am happy to return to the parent party. I will be ableto serve the people better from the Congress fold," E K Sangmasaid.

With the joining of the seven the MDCs (members ofdistrict council), the Congress now has 18 members in the 30members GHADC. Following that, the state cabinet last nightdecided to revoke the Administrator rule in the GHADC andconvene a special session for trial of strength and subsequentinstallation of a popular executive council.

The GHADC was placed under Administrator rule since April1 last year in the wake of a political instability set offafter allegations that the ruling NCP had clutched on to powerdespite losing majority.

P A Sangma, however, said the state government was tryingto forcibly install the executive committee of the GHADC thatis in violation of a recent Gauhati High Court ruling that hadasked the government to maintain status quo.

"A division bench of the Gauhati High Court had ruled thattill the inquiry into the alleged financial irregularities inthe GHADC is over, there cannot be any installation of theexecutive council (EC). The government�s move to install theEC is purely violation of the court verdict. The NCP will filea contempt of court against the government," the NCP leadersaid.

On the defections, Sangma said, "it is not defection. Itis something else. Wait and see."

He claimed that one of the defector has conveyed to himthat his joining the Congress is not to betray the NCP but "toteach someone a lesson." PTI RTJRG

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