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No CM status to senior politicians: Mukul
SHILLONG, AUG 23 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 23 Aug. 2010 10:55 PM IST
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The state government has decided not to accord any “chief minister” status or rank to either former chief ministers or senior politicians.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma said the department, in order to curtail additional expenditure, was preparing an office memorandum to notify that there would not be any “chief minister’s rank and status” when political appointments are made.
The previous D.D. Lapang-led Congress government was criticised for elevating as many as three legislators to the rank of the chief minister.
After the formation of the Meghalaya United Alliance government in May 2009, Lapang accorded chief minister’s rank to UDP leaders Donkupar Roy and J.D. Rymbai. In February this year, senior Congress legislator Friday Lyngdoh was accorded the status of the chief minister.
However, Mukul Sangma, who took over as chief minister on April 20, on Sunday said there was no question of according the chief minister’s rank to any senior politicians of the state. “We have not mentioned any such position in the list of appointments in this regard,” he said
Earlier, Lapang had defended that the tradition of according chief minister’s status to the former chief ministers was nothing new. He said the purpose was to recognise their services.
However, Sangma did not want to follow the tradition. Instead, he said the government should come out of the mess created in the past in the name of political appointments.
He also said the previous governments had violated the bylaws of various corporations and boards by appointing vice-chairman, co-chairman and deputy chairmen, which were not permitted. There were irregular political appointments in the past and this needs immediate correction, the chief minister said.
“We are committed to come out of the mess created in the past and the cabinet will soon take a final decision on the nature of political appointees,” he said. The four-month-old Sangma government so far appointed a total of 61 people, mostly politicians, in various boards and corporations. In these appointments, however, nobody was allotted the rank or status of either the chief minister or the deputy-chief minister.
During the tenure of Lapang and the erstwhile UDP-NCP led government, more than 100 politicians were accommodated as the chairman, vice-chairman, co-chairman of various boards and corporations incurring an expenditure of nearly Rs 3.29 crore per month.
Though these political appointees get the rank of the chief minister, deputy-chief minister, cabinet minister and minister of state with perks and facilities but they hardly carry out any action plan to revamp the boards and corporations, most of which are running in losses. Many of the appointees were either defeated legislators or functionaries of political parties supporting the government.
Even more boards and corporations were created in the past to accommodate the members of various political parties to ensure that there is no resentment among the coalition partners.
Sangma admitted that the number of political appointees would increase in the days to come, but assured that no more chief minister status will be accorded to any one. He, however, said these political appointments in various corporations and boards can contribute to the growth of the state.

 
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