TURA, 20 Jan: The Indian National Congress has suffered another blow in the Garo Hills with a former party MDC and son of former chief minister Salseng C Marak leaving the party in disappointment and joining the NPP at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills on Thursday.
Silman K Sangma, eldest son of Salseng Marak and a former MDC of Rongrong constituency in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council joined chief minister Conrad K Sangma’s NPP.
He was welcomed to the NPP by MLAs Marthon J Sangma of Mendipathar and Marcuse Marak of Williamnagar.
The split in one of the senior most congress families in Garo Hills is a setback to the party at a time when campaigning has just begun for the February 27th elections which the Congress is keen to win.
Silman was reportedly unhappy over being sidelined by the party leaders when it came to ticket allocation. He had applied to contest from his father’s seat of Resubelpara but was facing a stiff challenge from another ticket aspirant who is rumoured to be the favourite.
Medical doctor Twill Marak is one of the ticket contenders for the congress in Resubelpara.
Although the congress has not announced its candidates list, the writing was clearly on the wall and the son of the former chief minister decided to leave his father’s age old party for the NPP.
Although the NPP has already decided to field sitting party MLA Timothy D Shira from Resubelpara, Silman’s entry into the NPP could give it a further boost and impact the Congress campaign in the coming days.
His move will also dent the party’s image, particularly since his father Salseng C Marak is a former chief minister who has represented Resubelpara numerous times, the last election he won being in 2013.
It will also be discomfiture for congress working president Debora C Marak who happens to be Silman’s aunt.