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Rahul could be PM: Sangma
Correspondent Shillong, Feb 11
Published on 12 Feb. 2010 12:04 AM IST
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Raking the controversy that a Prime Minister should be from the Lok Sabha, former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader Purno A Sangma today said there is no problem for Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in becoming Prime Minister. “Rahul has been projected earlier as the leader and definitely he could be the Prime Minister as he is elected as member of the Lok Sabha,” he told journalists here. Iterating that the post of Prime Minister should be held by a member of the Lok Sabha, Sangma said, “I am not against Manmohan Sigh being the Prime Minister. But I am speaking on principle and in the spirit of the Constitution and in a parliamentary system of government the head of the government should be from Lok Sabha.” When asked, the former Lok Sabha Speaker dismissed that his comment on the post of prime ministership would create a sour relationship between NCP and the Congress in the Centre. “The Congress High Command has understood my statement and I am sure this will not affect the relationship between the two political parties,” Mr Sangma, whose daughter Agatha K Sangma is a minister in the Manmohan Singh’s cabinet claimed. Earlier, Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang today said it is not mandatory that a Prime Minister should be from the Lok Sabha. “ It is not mandatory that a Prime Minister should only be a member of the Lok Sabha. For years, the country has had Prime Ministers who are members of Rajya Sabha,’’ Lapang said. Lapang to visit B’desh, may meet Hasina Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang will visit Dhaka later this month, where he is expected to meet Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina to discuss a host of issues, including improvement of connectivity and cooperation in tourism, health care and education. Lapang, along with a delegation comprising his two deputies, will be leaving for Dhaka on February 24 to participate in the international trade fair being organised by the India Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry. New Delhi has assured of giving him clearance for the visit, Lapang said, adding that he hopes to get an appointment from Hasina. Lapang discussed several issues pertaining to improved ties between Bangladesh and Meghalaya with Bangladesh High Commissioner Tariq Ahmed Karim last evening. “Issues regarding road, air and rail connectivity were deliberated upon. We have been seeking to begin a bus service to Bangladesh via Sylhet, besides introducing air and rail services. Karim assured me of taking up the matters with Dhaka,” Lapang said. The Chief Minister also requested the Bangladesh envoy to open up a visa office in Shillong to encourage more visitors to the neighbouring country. The Chief Minister also impressed upon Karim that Meghalaya, being an education hub, can be a viable destination for Bangladeshi students. “They can come here and pursue studies,” Lapang said. Meanwhile D D Lapang on Thursday slammed NCP leader P A Sangma for his criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not being an elected member of the Lok Sabha. “The North East Congress Coordination Committee (NECCC) strongly condemns the statement of P A Sangma. It is an highly irresponsible statement,” Lapang, also the chairman of NECCC, said. A week ago, Sangma was critical that the prime minister is not from the Lok Sabha. “I am a strong believer of the Parliamentary system of governance, but in the last several years, I have been a very disappointed man...For years Lok Sabha has failed to produce a prime minister,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker had said.

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