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Cong ally opposes leadership change in M’laya
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAY 17:
Published on 17 May. 2011 11:55 PM IST
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The United Democratic Party (UDP), the second largest coalition partner of Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government Tuesday said is not in favour of frequent change of leadership in the state.
“We are not happy with the frequent change of leadership as it has badly affected the developmental programmes of state,” UDP chief and former chief minister Donkupar Roy told Nagaland Post.
At least 18 of the 28 Congress legislators in the 60-member state assembly have demanded for the removal of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
The rebel legislators have projected former chief minister D.D. Lapang as a possible successor to Sangma.
As an ally of the Congress, Roy said, “I had advised them (Congress) in our MUA meeting not to keep changing their leader of the government.”
Strongly batting for Mukul Sangma to continue as Chief Minister, the UDP Chief said, “the chief minister is doing well on the development front and he tries to solve pending issues.”
Though, the state’s congress Chief Friday Lyngdoh Monday claimed that there would be no change of leadership in the state, but the demand for removal of Sangma as Chief Minister refuses to die down.
“Sonia Gandhi is not in favour of frequent change of leadership since it hampers the development process as well as the good momentum of governance,’ Lyngdoh claimed.
Former chief minister D.D. Lapang, who is projected as Sangma’s successor, said that the leadership issue is very much alive. “The matter (leadership issue) is being examined by the Congress leadership (Sonia Gandhi).
We hope that soon she will communicate to the state and a CLP (Congress Legislature Party) meeting will be call to resolve the issue amicably,” Lapang told journalists Tuesday.
The rebel Congress legislators are after Sangma’s removal as they are not happy with his style and functioning and for taking unilateral decisions on several projects without consulting others.
Last month, Sonia had rushed-in her envoys Dhani Ram Shandil who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Meghalaya, and his deputy Sanjay Bapna to Shillong last month but both failed to cut ice with the rebel Congress legislators.
The Congress enjoys the support of UDP (9 members), HSPDP (2), KHNAM (1) and four independent members. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the main opposition in the state, 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 a full five-year term.
Leadership issue yet to be resolved: Lapang
Former Meghalaya Chief Minister D.D.Lapang Tuesday rejected the contention by state Congress president Friday Lyngdoh on the leadership issue in the state is far from over.
“There was no final word from the AICC leaders on the issue. The AICC will soon communicate to the state to resolve the grievances of the legislators (Congress),” Lapang told journalists.
Yesterday, the state Congress chief announced that that there would not be any change of leadership.
“Sonia Gandhi is very clear on her mind that there should not be change of leadership since it hampers the developmental process as well as the good momentum of governance,” Lyngdoh claimed.
At least 18 of the 28 Congress legislators have demanded removal of Sangma as Chief Minister for his ‘autocratic style of functioning’ and ‘lack of transparency in governance’.
Lapang, who is projected by the dissident Congress legislators as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), said, “The issue (leadership) could be resolve only at a CLP meeting”.
“The AICC (Sonia Gandhi) is fully aware of the grievances of the legislators and that’s why she had earlier deputed the AICC leaders to the state to resolve the issue,” the veteran Congress leader said. However, Lapang said that he would not allow any split in the party while the legislators insist for a change of leadership. “We are committed to maintain unity though 18 legislators are demanding a change of leadership and our differences will not lead to any split in the party as in the past we have never created any split,” he added.

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