Shillong: New Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul M. Sangma Tuesday said the government has decided to do away with the practice of according Chief Minister`s status to more than one person, as was the case during his predecessor D.D. Lapang`s rule.
"The cabinet has decided that political appointments of chairmen to boards or corporations shall not be linked to the status of chief minister," Sangma told reporters after chairing his first cabinet meeting.
"From now on, the appointment of chairman of a planning board or any other will be only chairman and not get a post equivalent to the rank and status of chief minister," he said.
Interestingly, former chief minister Lapang was April 23 appointed as the chief adviser of the five-party coalition government with the status and rank of a chief minister.
"He (Lapang) will also no longer carry the status of a chief minister and will simply be chief adviser," Sangma said when asked if Lapang would continue to enjoy the rank and status of a Chief Minister.
As Chief Minister, Lapang had accorded three political leaders, including two former chief ministers, with the rank and status of chief minister. Early this year, Lapang even elevated Friday Lyngdoh, his advisor, to the rank of a Chief Minister.
Lapang quit as Chief Minister April 19 after he failed to meet the demands of rebel Congress legislators to drop Independent legislators and the lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement member from the 12-member cabinet.
The rebels had sought induction of senior Congress legislators in their place. When Lapang failed to do so, the rebels pressed for his removal.
Political instability is not new to Meghalaya - the state has already seen three governments since the March 2008 election.Mukul M. Sangma, who replaced Lapang, is Meghalaya`s 21st chief minister in 39 years and the fourth in a little over two years.
In the present 60-member legislature, the Congress has 28 legislators and enjoys the support of nine United Democratic Party (UDP) members. The NCP, the main opposition, has 15 legislators.