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Lapang’s fate likely to be decided next week
Correspondent Shillong, April 15:
Published on 15 Apr. 2010 11:43 PM IST
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In order to put an end to a month-old leadership issue in Meghalaya, crucial CLP meeting to decide the fate of Chief Minister DD Lapang, according to a senior AICC leader is slated to be held next week to trash out the demand of rebel Congress legislators to remove him.
On Wednesday, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee President Friday Lyngdoh met party president Sonia Gandhi and briefed her at length on the political rumblings within the CLP.
Lyngdoh, however was tight-lipped after the meeting with Gandhi. “It is a top secret and I can share the outcome of the meeting only after I reach Shillong,” he said over phone from Kolkata. At least 15 of the 28 Congress legislators in the 60-member House have demanded for removal of Chief Minister DD Lapang for his poor performance.
Congress General Secretary in-charge Meghalaya Luizinho Faleiro also sought an appointment with the Congress President to discuss the leadership issue in Meghalaya. The dissident Congress legislators projected Assembly Speaker, Charles Pyngrope as the next leader to replace Lapang.
Reports doing the rounds here indicated that senior Congress legislator Mukul M Sangma, who is a deputy chief Minister in Lapang’s cabinet also threw his hat in the race for Chief Ministership.
On Wednesday, the Chief Minister called on Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary to explore the possibility of a cabinet reshuffling by replacing Independent MLAs - Ismail R Marak and Limison D Sangma, and lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement Paul Lyngdoh with senior Congress legislators. Earlier, the dissident legislators faxed a message to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and also met Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the need to change the leadership.
“We have apprised the AICC on our demand and we are waiting only for the AICC to take a decision,” a rebel Congress MLA said.
Lapang, however, said that he has left the entire matter with the AICC to decide on their demand. ‘’It is up to the Congress High Command to decide on the leadership issue and I will abide by the decision of the majority,’’ he said.
Lapang was sworn-in as Chief Minister for the fifth time on May 13 last after the collapse of the NCP-backed Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government, the support of Independents and the regional parties.
The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government comprises of 44 - 28 from the Congress, nine UDP, two HSPDP, one KHNAM and four Independents, while the opposition bench consists of 15 members and one Independent member in the house of 60 members.

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