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Cong open for alliance with NCP, UDP
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 21:
Published on 22 Apr. 2009 1:13 AM IST
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The Congress party today said that it was open to an alliance with any political groups, barring the BJP for installation of a popular government in Meghalaya, which is under Presidents rule. “Our doors are still open for the UDP or the NCP to form a new stable and able government and we are not ruling out the possibility of running the new government with either of them,” Congress legislator Prestone Tynsong said. Tynsong’s statement assumes significance following former Congress Chief Minister JD Rymbai taking over the leadership of the United Democratic Partys (UDPs) parliamentary party from Donkupar Roy, late last night. Rymbai who had served as a Congress legislator for four consecutive terms and joined the UDP on January 11, 2008 after his nine-month-old government was toppled by veteran Congress leader DD Lapang on March 10, 2006. A senior Congress legislator, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that both the UDP and NCP were already negotiating with the Congress for the formation of a popular government. “Of course, negotiations are on between leaders of the AICC and NCP,” the two-time Congress MLA asserted. The newly elected leader of the UDPs Parliamentary party, however, denied having any possible alliance with the Congress. “If the need arises, leaders of the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance will meet and take a decision to it,” Rymbai said. Like his predecessor Donkupar Roy, Rymbai assured his allies the NCP, BJP, Hills State Peoples Democratic Party and the two Independent legislators that the UDP will not betray them, but will explore all the possibilities for the formation of a popular government together. However, sources in the UDP hinted the possible Congress-UDP alliance only if the Congress agreed to change its legislature party leader DD Lapang. Congress leaders, however, said that the Congress would decide only if the UDP officially communicates to them on the matter. President’s Rule was imposed on March 19 after Governor RS Mooshahary recommended dismissal of the year-old MPA government. in the wake of controversial suspension of voting rights of five legislators, who allegedly joined the Congress to topple the NCP-United Democratic Party-led government. Four of the five legislators - Deputy Speaker and NCP legislator Sanbor Shullai, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement member Paul Lyngdoh and two Independent legislators Ismail R Marak and Limison D Sangma were disqualified on April 8 for violating the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. With the disqualification of these four legislators, the 60-member House stands reduced to 54, including the resignation of two United Democratic Party members Ampareen Lyngdoh and Nimarson Momin. The NCP-backed Meghalaya Progressive Alliance has 27 members, including the Speaker while the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance has 27.

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