Meghalaya Cong distances from GNLA chairman's 'support'

The Meghalaya Congress today distanced itself from the controversial support announced by arrested chairman of the proscribed Garo National Liberation Army, Champion Sangma.

Champion Sangma who was arrested on July 30 from the Indo-Bangladesh border, has said that the GNLA would support the Congress in the assembly elections in the Garo Hills except in two constituencies.

"At no stage it (the Congress) entered into any negotiation on such a matter. The Indian National Congress is immune to rhetoric aimed at maligning its impeccable time tested ideals, principles and values," state party chief D D Lapang said.

He said "the issue is purely confined only to the domain of debate and deliberations in the press and the party has no knowledge whatsoever on the matter."

He asked the party to distance itself from any controversy that might have been generated on the matter.

"In a democracy, freedom of speech and expression of opinion is a reality that perhaps some groups still fail to grasp, in the light of electoral fever overpowering their reason," the former chief minister said.

Meanwhile, the judicial custody of Champion Sangma who has also said he would contest the assembly elections, was extended by another 14 days by a local court here.