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M’laya CM to reshuffle cabinet Tuesday
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUNE 6:
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Published on 7 Jun. 2011 1:12 AM IST
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Amid the din caused by demand for his ouster, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Monday said he will reshuffle his cabinet, a move to neutralise the rebellion against him.
The cabinet reshuffle which takes place Tuesday morning came about after Sangma’s deputy Rowell Lyngdoh had announced (Friday) that the chief minister has lost the support of a majority of the 28 legislators. On his return from New Delhi this evening drove directly to the Raj Bhavan to convey Governor R.S.Mooshahary his planned reshsuffle.
“I have briefed the Governor about the changes I proposed to bring in my ministry tomorrow (Tuesday),” Sangma said.
He said the reshuffle has the approval of Congress Supremo Sonia Gandhi.
The four new faces in the Sangma’s cabinet are all Congress legislators with three of them who had earlier demanded his removal, namely, S.W Rymbai, Saleng Sangma and BJP-turned Congress legislator Alexander Hek.
Shitlang Pale has also been rewarded with a Cabinet berth for being loyal to the Chief Minister throughout.
Though, Sangma refused to name of four cabinet ministers to be dropped, Sangma’s confidante, however, said the probable who will face the axe are senior Congress legislators Prestone Tynsong, Frankenstein W Momin, Augustine D Marak and Founder Strong Cajee.
What precipitated Sangma’s move to reshuffle his cabinet, according to political pundits, is the reported contention of veteran Congress Rowell Lyngdoh that the chief minister is in the minority as 18 out of the 28 Congress legislators were no longer in favour of him.
Though, Congress general secretary and state in-charge Dhani Ram Shandil had categorically stated that Sangma would complete his full term in office till 2013, the rebel Congress legislators led by former chief minister D.D. Lapang, who are camping at New Delhi, are equally determined to press home their demand.
“The party leadership will give us an audience tomorrow (Tuesday) where we will present our case and prevail upon her to direct the chief to convene a CLP meeting as this is the only way to settle the issue,” a rebel Congress legislator said.
Chief Minister, however, refused to comment on the reported of the rebel legislators to convene the CLP.
The rebel Congress legislators are demanding Sangma’s removal, saying that they are not happy with his autocratic style of functioning. They are believed to be pitching for Lapang to return as chief minister.
Sangma was sworn in chief minister April 21, 2010, replacing Lapang, after 21 of the 28 legislators proposed Sangma’s name as their new Congress Legislative Party leader. 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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