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Move afoot to topple Sangma’s govt
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 12 (NPN):
Published on 12 Apr. 2011 11:56 PM IST
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A fresh move is afoot to topple the Mukul Sangma-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government with rebel Congress legislators making efforts to bring in veteran Congress leader DD Lapang as the Chief Minister, a Congress source said Tuesday.
The move is significant in the wake of Sangma going to complete his one year in office on April 20. A Congress minister in the Sangma cabinet admitted that dissidence against the chief minister is gaining momentum among the party legislators.
“I think this he (Mukul) is out and they (rebel legislators) have got the numbers with them,” the minister said on condition of anonymity.
“They (rebel legislators) are not happy with the style and functioning of Mukul (Sangma). He comes to office very late and takes unilateral decisions on several projects without consulting others,” the minister added.
Lapang, who was dethroned April 20, 2010, has been projected by 18 rebels out of the party’s 28 legislators in the 60-member state assembly, as the new Congress legislature party leader replacing Mukul Sangma, party sources said.
Lapang and his loyalists are camping at New Delhi to seek an audience with Congress Supremo Sonia Gandhi. The rebel Congress legislators had also held few meetings with senior AICC leaders in Delhi.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who cut short his election campaign trail in West Bengal, has also rushed to New Delhi.
“Yes, they (Lapang and others) are in Delhi. They have met AICC leaders, but these are courtesies visits,” Congress Secretary in-charge of Meghalaya Sanjay Bapna said from Delhi.
Bapna said that he has not received any representation from the rebel Congress legislators regarding their demand for leadership change.
“Our coalition government is absolute and will complete its full term,” he said.
Political instability appears to have become a permanent feature in Meghalaya, which has seen four governments since the March 2008 election.
Sangma was sworn in as chief minister of a Congress-led coalition government April 20, 2010, after 21 of the 28 Congress legislators proposed him as their new Congress legislature party leader.
The Congress enjoys the support of nine UDP members, HSPDP (2), KHNAM (1) and four Independent members. The NCP, the main opposition, has 15 members.
Meghalaya has seen nine governments with varied combinations, resulting in eight chief ministers, between 1998 and 2009. Since Meghalaya attained statehood in 1972, only two chief ministers have completed their five-year terms.

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