SHILLONG, Oct 15 - Congress MLA from Mawsynram, Pynshngainlang N Syiem, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the Congress-led coalition Government in Meghalaya, has been suspended from the party.
The decision to suspend the Congress MLA was announced by Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president DD Lapang last night. He said Syiem was being suspended for one year for his anti-party activities.
�The AICC was informed about his activities over a period of time. We tried to work things out, but unfortunately he (Syiem) continued making statements against the party and the State Government,� Lapang announced.
But the Congress received a jolt after five Syiem loyalists and Congress members from Khasi Hills District Council resigned. These members are Antonio War (Laitumkhrah-Malki), Banteidor Lyngdoh (Mawkynrew), Albinus Lyngdoh (Umroi), Victor Ranee (Jirang) and Hadrian Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat).
However, Pradesh Congress Committee is yet to take a decision on these resignations. �We have received the resignation letters. We haven�t decided yet because we aren�t sure if these MDCs were coerced to resign,� Lapang stated.
The suspension of Syiem was on predictable lines as he was openly questioning Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for over a year now. Syiem is also Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council apart from being an MLA.
Last year, Syiem along with several Congress legislators tried to overthrow Sangma from his post and constantly termed the Chief Minister�s style of functioning as �dictatorial.�
Some say, this rivalry between Syiem and Sangma made the Chief Minister to introduce and pass the Prevention of Disqualification (Member of Legislative Assembly Meghalaya) Amendment Bill, 2015.
The Bill, an Act from October 8 last year, effectively bars MLAs from holding the dual post of an MDC and hit Syiem hard. Seven such MLAs who also held MDC posts grumblingly resigned, but Syiem held his ground.
The matter was decided in Syiem�s favour by Meghalaya High Court in August this year, which emboldened the KHADC chief to launch his campaign against the Chief Minister and the State Government.
Meanwhile, Syiem after his suspension said he would continue to air his voice and opinion in the interest of the people. �I will continue to serve the interest of the people,� Syiem said.
On the other hand, the Congress has elected Langrin MDC, Manstudy Nongrem as its new leader in the Khasi Hills District Council. The party had eleven MDCs in the Council, but the number stands reduced to five.