Rymbai quits Congress,UDP assures ticket

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Shillong, Jan 4 (UNI) Veteran Congress leader and former Meghalaya chief minister J D Rymbai today quit the party and legislative seat, even as the United Democratic Party(UDP) assured him a party ticket to contest the upcoming Assembly elections.

Mr Rymbai, who was forced to relinquish his chief ministerial chair in favour of his bete noire D D Lapang, had decided since than not to contest on a Congress ticket for the coming Assembly elections.

Mr Rymbai quit as an MLA from Jirang constituency, Ri-Bhoi and handed over his resignation letter to Speaker MM Danggo.

Simultaneously, he put down his paper as Congressman and handed over his resignation to state Congress party Secretary Sanjay Dutta Chowdhury here.

Meanwhile, the UDP president and Deputy Chief Minister had said Mr Rymbai would be allotted a party ticket and would contest from Jirang constituency.

Mr Rymbai won four consecutive Assembly elections on a Congress ticket from Jirang, Ri-Bhoi district. He first joined and contested as a Congress nominee in 1983 but lost that election. He, however, contested again in 1988 and went on to win for the next four elections.

On June 15, 2006 Mr Rymbai became the chief minister after infighting within the Congress and toppled Mr Lapang from the post.

But after nine months in power Lapang staged a dramatic comeback.

Since then Mr Rymbai was upset and expressed his displeasure over the continuous infighting within the party, especially the AICC asked him to step down and resolved to quit the party.

Mr Rymbai would now be contesting against Congress nominee William Mynsong, this time. Rymbai said today that he had no ill feelings towards the Congress but would 'work very hard' to retain the Jirang seat for the fifth consecutive time.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former chief minister Salseng C Marak expressed sadness at Mr Rymbai's resignation.

''We have worked hand-in-hand all through these years,'' he told UNI. He termed Rymbai's exit as a 'great loss for the party'.

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