I`m ready to quit: Meghalaya Chief Minister

Last Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 19:44

Shillong: Admitting that he has "lost
majority" in the Congress Legislature Party, Meghalaya Chief
Minister D D Lapang on Sunday said he is ready to quit, paving the
way for his deputy Mukul Sangma to take over the reins.

"Mukul Sangma has the majority. I met the MLAs (who are
in Delhi). I asked them, they said yes. I asked him to go
ahead. I shall tell Congress President Sonia Gandhi about
this," Lapang said over phone from New Delhi.

Asked if he would resign, the beleaguered Chief
Minister, whose ouster has been sought by at least 14 of the
28 Congress MLAs, said, "Definitely. If he (Mukul Sangma) has
the majority, what does that mean? In a democracy the number
counts. I will meet Madam Gandhi and accordingly I will
resign," Lapang, who is expected to meet the party chief
later today, said.

"We will not fight for a chair. We will not burn our own
house for family differences. We stand as one," he maintained.

Backed by `majority` of Congress MLAs, Deputy Chief
Minister Mukul Sangma yesterday rushed to Delhi, apparently
with an eye on the Chief Minister`s post as the row over the
leadership issue in Meghalaya hotted up.

With Lapang already camping in New Delhi summoned by the
AICC in a bid to find a solution to the nearly two-month-old
leadership crisis, Sangma took along with him 14 other
Congress MLAs including ten dissidents who had sought Lapang`s
ouster.

Two other pro-Sangma MLAs are expected to fly to the
national capital today.

The development came after 21 of the total 28 Congress
MLAs, including some detractors of the Chief Minister, met at
Sangma`s residence late on Friday night and pledged
"unconditional support" to him, party sources said.

Asked about the development, Sangma said, "The matter is
in the court of AICC. We are awaiting its decision."

A series of discussion was held between Sangma, Lapang
and AICC leaders since yesterday.

At least 14 dissident MLAs have been pursuing the
Congress high command for nearly one month asking for a change
of leadership as well as their inclusion in the ministry.

Only six Congress MLAs of the 28 have found berths in
Lapang`s ministry.

The Congress-led alliance, sworn in last year after the
fall of the NCP-led government, enjoys the support of 44
legislators -- 28 from Congress, 9 from UDP, two from Hill
State Peoples Democratic Party, one from Khyun Hynniewtrep
National Awakening Movement and four Independents in a House
of 60.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 19:44

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