Congress MLAs blame Lapang for losing support

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Shillong, Mar 15 (UNI) Senior Congress legislators in Meghalaya today blamed Chief Minister DD Lapang for his 'failure' to negotiate with leaders of regional parties to support the party-led minority Meghalaya United Alliance government.

Most of the Congress legislators expressed their discontentment with Mr Lapang after he failed to keep two regional parties, Hill State People's Democratic Party and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement, on his side.

''Mr Hoping Stone of HSPDP, Mr Paul of KHNAM and Independent legislator Don Kupar Massar had visited Union Tribal Affairs Minister PR Kyndiah's residence with an intention to extend support to the Congress, but Mr Lapang did not take them seriously,'' former Minister and Congress MLA Rowell Lyngdoh said.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party with 25 seats, had fallen short of six seats to cross the majority threshold. The Congress, however, managed to rope in three Independent MLAs from Garo Hills to increased its tally to 28 seats and needed three more to reach the magic figure of 31 in the 60-member Assembly.

However, Mr Lapang exuded confidence that the Congress-led government will survive during the floor test slated on March 19.

''We are in constant touch with like-minded friends and talks are positive,'' Mr Lapang had told reporters.

Last week, the MUA had entrusted Mr Lapang with the task of negotiating with the regional parties for extending support to the Congress.

''I cannot divulge to you all now. I will say again that talks are positive and we keep our cards close to our chest,'' Mr Lapang said.

However, the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA), a conglomeration of non-Congress parties - the Nationalist Congress Party (14), United Democratic Party (11), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), Independents (2) and one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement - had expressed firm commitment to dislodge the Congress government in the state.

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