Lapang exudes confidence to retain power in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Mar 4 (UNI) Exuding confidence that the Congress will retain power in Meghalaya, incumbent Chief Minister D D Lapang today said his party was ready to form alliance with any like-minded political parties if required.

''We are not averse to forming tie-ups with any political parties, barring the BJP, but even then, the formation of a new coalition government needs a collective consultation with the newly elected Congress legislators and the party high command,'' Mr Lapang told reporters at his official residence.

Mr Lapang, however, asserted that he was ready for a post-poll tie-up with the NCP if the state delivered a fractured mandate in the polls.

''In the UPA government at the Centre, the NCP is in coalition and I do not see any problem in having an alliance either with Mr Sangma or his party in Meghalaya,'' Mr Lapang told reporters yesterday after casting his vote in the Nongpoh lower primary school.

''This time, we are expecting to win between 25 and 30 seats,'' the incumbent Chief Minister said and claimed that the Congress had fulfilled the people's aspirations during the past five years in power.

Asked about his regional allies dubbing the Congress as a ''corrupt party'' in their election campaigns, Mr Lapang said, ''There is no grudge with our regional friends, they are free to make any comment on political platform.

''They have cooperated with me in running the government, but then if they feel that we (Congress) failed to deliver, they should have quit the government then,'' he asserted.

Mr Lapang, who also holds the Home portfolio, termed the pre-poll violence '''unfortunate''.

''The police should take action against those involved in criminal activities, and even if my own family member is involved, the law of the land should be applicable to all,'' he claimed.

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