Blow to NCP as Congress clinches Garo council

Shillong, Feb 12 (PTI) In a blow to the NCP inMeghalaya, the Congress today clinched the Garo HillsAutonomous District Council (GHADC) after seven NCP membersswitched to the Congress side taking its tally to 18 in the30-member council.

NCP member of district council (MDC) P K Sangma whoswitched to the Congress few days back along with six othermembers was elected Chief Executive Member of the councilduring a special session convened on the directions ofGovernor R S Mooshahary.

The GHADC was kept under animated suspension sinceApril last year in the wake of instability set off afterallegations that the NCP had clinged to power despite losingmajority.

All the 11 NCP members, however, skipped today�sspecial session of the council.

Yesterday, NCP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker P ASangma had slammed the Congress-led Meghalaya governmentsaying it had no ''respect for democracy'', a day after NCP�sstate unit Working President E K Sangma and the seven MDCs hadjoined the Congress.

P A Sangma, on whose home turf Garo Hills theCongress has made penetration, said the state government wastrying to forcibly install the executive committee of theGHADC and claimed the move was in violation of a recentGauhati High Court ruling that had asked the government tomaintain status quo.

"A division bench of the Gauhati High Court had ruledthat till the inquiry into the alleged financialirregularities in the GHADC is over, there cannot be anyinstallation of the executive council (EC)", the NCP leadersaid.

"The government�s move to install the EC is purelyviolation of the court verdict. The NCP will file a contemptof court against the government," he said.

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