Lapang dismisses apprehensions of split in Meghalaya Cong

Last Updated: Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 18:46

Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister D D
Lapang on Thursday dismissed apprehensions of a split in the state
Congress unit in the wake of 16 dissident MLAs pressing the
Central leadership to remove him from the post.

"The party would not suffer a split for the sake of
chair," Lapang, whose party has 28 MLAs in the 60-member
Assembly, said.

The ruling Congress-led alliance, sworn in last year
after the fall of the NCP-led government, enjoys the support
of 44 legislators including nine of UDP, two from Hill State
Peoples Democratic Party, one from Khyun Hynniewtrep National
Awakening Movement (KHNAM) and four Independents.

Rebel MLAs, who are camping in New Delhi to pressure
AICC leadership to remove Lapang and accommodate them in the
ministry, presented their demands before AICC president Sonia
Gandhi`s political secretary Ahmed Patel last night.

"A leader should not react to such dissidence. No one
is indispensable. The AICC is the best judge," Lapang said.

Asked if the AICC would encourage dissidence by
conceding to their demands, Lapang said, "It`s a valid
opinion, but the AICC knows what is best... Any member is free
to express their grievances."

The 16 legislators are demanding a change in
leadership in the state, besides accommodation of senior MLAs
in the ministry by dropping the independents and the lone MLA
from KHNAM. Only six Congress MLAs had found berths in Lapang

Asked about the strength of rebel MLAs, Lapang said,
"There is no need to analyse the majority now. The majority
will come into play only when the AICC feels there is the need
for an election to select the legislature party leader".

The AICC has summoned Pradesh Congress chief Friday
Lyngdoh and working president Deborah Marak to discuss the
situation arising out of the revolt.

With pressure mounting on Lapang, sources indicated
that a cabinet reshuffle is on the cards.

The AICC is likely to send a special observer to the
state next week to tackle the dissidence, party sources said.


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First Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010 - 18:46

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