MUA entrusts Lapang to negotiate with like-minded parties

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Shillong, Mar 11 (UNI) The newly-formed Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) today entrusted Chief Minister D D Lapang with the task of negotiating with regional parties ahead of the floor test in the Assembly due next week.

''As there are too many negotiators, the MUA has entrusted Mr Lapang to negotiate with the regional parties to prove the majority on the floor of the House, '' Mr Charles Pyngrope told UNI here after being elected chief whip of the Congress Legislature Party this evening.

The CLP had appointed Congress MLA R V Lyngdoh and Independent MLA A T Mondal as secretaries of the MUA.

Mr Pyngrope said the Congress was open to an alliance even with the NCP, already part of the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA).

''The door is open to all. We are a secular party and there are no untouchables. We hope to get the support of like-minded parties,'' Mr Pyngrope asserted.

Talking to reporters after the CLP meeting, Mr Lapang exuded confidence to prove his majority on the floor of the House, even ahead of the ten days times given by Governor S S Sidhu.

''I am confident to prove my majority and the Congress is committed to working with the like-minded political parties, '' Mr Lapang said.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party with 25 seats, had fallen short of six seats to cross the majority threshold.

Asked about the MPA taking legal action against the Governor, the Chief Minister refused to comment, but said, '' We respect the Governor's decision. He has invited us since we are the single largest party in the House of 60, '' he stated.

Besides the 25 Legislators, three Independent Legislators - A T Mondol, Ismail Marak and Limison Sangma - attended the CLP meeting at the Chief Minister's residence.

Last week, five non-Congress parties - Nationalist Congress Party (14), United Democratic Party (11), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), BJP (1) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (1) - besides, two Independent MLAs, had formed the MPA and staked their claim to form the government before the Governor.

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