Citing anti-party activities, the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee has suspended Mawsynram MLA Pynshngian N (P N) Syiem. It is to be noted that Syiem is also the Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hill Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
Reasons for P N Syiem’s suspension
The suspension is a strong message to Syiem as he was at loggerheads with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma over the Dual Post Act which was brought by the Congress-led government resulting in the by-polls to seven vacant district council seats. Syiem told reporters he hasn’t received any official communication from the party.
Despite being suspended, the MLA maintains a firm stand and says it’s his job to look into issues which serves the interest of the people. The MLA has also downplayed rumours of the suspension affecting his MLA/ MDC status.
‘The news of a one-year suspension was verbal but no official communication has been received. As a representative, I have to look into issues which serve the interests of the people. If suspended, it will not affect my MLA/MDC status, while the post of the CEM will depend on the support of the executive members (EM) of the KHADC’, he told reporters.
A new headache for the Congress
As if dealing with Syiem wasn’t enough, the Congress has a new headache to deal with. After reports emerged of the grand old party suspending the two-time MLA, five of its Members of District Council (MDCs) from the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) had resigned from the party in protest. The five Congress members who resigned on Friday are Parliamentary Party Secretary Antonio War, Victor Ranee, Hadrian Lyngdoh, Albinus Lyngdoh and Banteidor Lyngdoh.
This is a significant blow as KHADC had 11 Congress members which now has been reduced to five after the suspension of Syiem and the resignation of five others. The MDCs who are still with the Congress are P T Sawkmie, Donovan Wahlang, Manstudy Nongrem, Lamphrang Blah and Jansing Tynsong.
The suspension of Syiem and consequent resignation of the five KHADC members from the Congress is significant as it comes ahead of the December 13 by-election to the six vacant seats in the 30-member KHADC.