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Meghalaya cabinet flooded with CMs
Correspondent/IANS Shillong, Jan 31:
Published on 1 Feb. 2010 12:37 AM IST
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In what can been seen as an attempt of glaring political appeasement, Meghalaya chief minister DD Lapang elevated his political advisor Friday Lyngdoh to rank of chief minister. “The rank and status of Lyngdoh has been upgraded from the rank of deputy chief minister to that of chief minister. He shall continue to function as political advisor to the chief minister,” the official notification read. Lyngdoh is also the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief. He is the fourth legislator from the ruling Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) coalition government to be accorded the rank of chief minister. Two former chief ministers - JD Rymbai, who is now the chairman of the Meghalaya Economic Development Council and Dr Donkupar Roy, chairman of the State Planning Board (both belonging to the United Democratic Party, an ally of the MUA), are also enjoying the status and benefits of the chief ministerial rank. The elevation of Lyngdoh’s status to that of a chief minister assumed significance in the wake of the discontentment within the Congress. “Lapang is the real chief minister, while Lyngdoh is chief minister without any power. It is a face-saving exercise and aimed at soothing an inflated ego of Lyngdoh who tried to engineer some dissidence,” a senior Meghalaya minister loyal to Lapang told IANS, requesting not to be named. “It is not something new, In fact, earlier, former chief ministers, appointed as chairman of planning board or other government owned corporation were also accorded the chief minister’s status,” MPCC working president Deborah C Marak said. However, the opposition NCP termed Lyngdoh’s elevation to the status of chief minister as “politics of appeasement”. “It’s a very unwise precedence being set by the ruling Congress government, which defies all plausible reasons,” Leader of Opposition Conrad K Sangma said. “What was that political compulsion that required such favour?” Sangma wondered. Since its inception of the state in 1972, barring the first few years, political instability has been a hallmark for Meghalaya. The state has already seen three governments since the March 2008 elections. Meanwhile, Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari told a TV channel, “I don’t think constitutionally it is impermissible. There is a chief minister and another has been given the rank of chief minister.”

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