Blame games within Congress, MPA to parade 31 MLAs

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Shillong, Mar 9 (UNI) A blame game has begun within the Congress party, even as legislators of the newly-formed Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) decided to stake claim to form the government in Meghalaya.

Sources within the party said most of the newly-elected Congress MLAs have expressed their discontentment with the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader D D Lapang and Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee President O L Nongtdu, for their ''inability to convince their regional parties'' to ally with them in forming the next government.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party, has fallen short by just six seats to cross the majority threshold in the 60-member Assembly.

AICC secretary Major (Retd) Ved Prakash, who has been camping here ahead of the elections, suddenly dashed off to the national capital last night, leaving the state Congress leaders and Congress legislators to tackle the political matter.

There was a mad scramble of legislators visiting Mr Lapang's residence today.

Some of the first-timers were especially worried over the recent political development of a non-Congress alliance cobbling up 31 MLAs' support.

Meanwhile, senior party leader Mukul Sangma and Union Minister P R Kyndiah were silently projecting themselves as prospective CLP leaders, sources added.

However, no one was avaliable to comment on the issue.

Congress functionaries close to Mr Lapang's camp has rubbished reports saying that his leadership was unquestionable. However, during the last MDA government, infighting within the Congress forced Mr Lapang to quit his Chief Ministerial post and then J D Rymbai as well.

However, this time the accusation against Mr Lapang and Mr Nongtdu are that the senior Congress leaders have ''done too little too late'', which may have cost the Congress to form the next government.

Congress sources said the party ought to have met regional parties, at least the United Democratic Party (UDP), to request an alliance with the Congress to form the government just after the declaration of results.

Meanwhile, the MPA have decided to parade all 31 newly-elected MLAs for the first time before Governor S S Sidhu tomorrow morning.

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