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Rift over leadership issue in M’laya Congress
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAY 16:
Published on 16 May. 2011 11:47 PM IST
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Sharp difference surfaced in Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Monday over the demand of removal of chief minister Mukul Sangma as the leader of the party by rebel Congress legislators.
The rift came to the fore during a news conference when Friday Lyngdoh, the MPCC Chief and his working president Debora C Marak contradicted each other over the leadership issue.
Lyngdoh, who had briefed Congress President Sonia Gandhi on the prevailing political situation in the state, said that there would be no change of leadership in the state.
“Sonia is not in favour of frequent change of leadership since it hampers the development process as well as the good momentum of governance,” Lyngdoh told journalists.
“We cannot afford for frequent change (of leadership). Therefore, elected representatives are responsible leaders and their first obligication should be towards the people,” he added.
The state party president, the congress legislators should air their grievances against any minister or legislator within the party’s grievances committee for redress of their problems.
Marak, however, argued that the leadership issue could be sorted out only in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting.
“In this situation, a direction for holding of CLP has to come from the AICC. It is up to madam when she will send her team. We are from MPCC and we cannot issue any direction,” Marak stated.
To this, the MPCC Chief thumped the table and said, “I am the president of the party and the AICC president has made it clear that there is no question of change of leadership.”
At least 18 of the 28 Congress legislators in the 60-member state assembly are believed to have projected former chief minister D.D. Lapang as a possible successor to Sangma.
However, a Congress legislator claimed that a CLP would be held soon to put to an end this month-long political stalemate which has brought the functioning of the state administration to a standstill.
“I am sure that madam (Sonia Gandhi) will issue a directive to Sangma to convene a CLP meeting to resolve the issue once and for all,” the
Congress legislator told Nagaland Post on condition of anonymity.
Chief Minister Sangma, who is heading a four-party government, had exuded confidence that he would complete his term.
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 a full five-year term.

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