SHILLONG, Nov 30 - Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday said that the ruling Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) II Government is �battle-ready� to face any challenge in the upcoming Assembly session, while the Congress party is similarly ready for the Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year.
Sangma informed that four sitting Independent legislators from Garo Hills and one from Khasi Hills have expressed their desire to join the Congress party.
The extension of support would help the MUA II Government in the Assembly session that would begin on December 8 and also strengthen the Congress party�s chances to win the Assembly elections later on.
�These legislators have indicated that they would like to join the Congress party, but the final decision of their joining the party has to be vetted by the high command,� Sangma said, adding that several from Jaintia Hills have also shown their willingness to join the party.
Downplaying the exodus of the Congress legislators from the party and the spate of senior Congress legislators opting out from the coming elections, Sangma said that sitting legislators shifting sides is nothing new in politics. �Independents would be looking to join or align with political parties ahead of the elections,� he said.
The Chief Minister, however, refuted allegation of some of the Independent MLAs, who withdrew support from the government, that the government did not extend help to their constituencies. �There is no scope for blame game. People know who have worked and who haven�t and would decide accordingly in the coming elections,� Sangma said.
On the senior leaders opting out, he said that most have indicated that they would be able to serve the party better by opting out and let the young comers take charge.
�DD Lapang (former chief minister,) told me that he would be reaching 90 years of age after five years, so he would rather like a youngster take his place and he concentrates on being the party president. There is nothing unusual about the decision,� the Chief Minister said.
Reacting to queries of a possible no-confidence motion being tabled in the upcoming Assembly session against the government, Sangma said that right from 2013, the Opposition has tabled several no-confidence motions in the Assembly and each of these were defeated overwhelmingly.
�We know how to deal with such no-confidence motions,� Sangma added.