'Cong maintained democratic traditions in Meghalaya'

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (UNI) The Congress today denied any impropriety in the party having formed its government in Meghalaya, and said Chief Minister D D Lapang had held the highest traditions of democracy by resigning the post without indulging in horse trading, when the party could not get support assured earlier by other parties.

"As far as I know, there has been no allegation of horse trading in Meghalaya," AICC Spokesman Manish Tewari told mediapersons.

He maintained that the Congress had formed its government in Meghalaya when it had emerged as the single largest party after the recent assembly elections.''This was fully in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.'' When the Chief Minister had sensed that he would not get majority with some of the political parties failing to honour the promise of support given earlier, he had tendered his resignation in keeping with the highest traditions of democracy, he said.

In this context, he pointed out that BJP leader A B Vajpayee had taken oath of office in 1993 as Prime Minister and had resigned later under a similar situation.

Asked if the action of the Congress in forming a government Meghalaya was morally correct, Mr Tewari said "what is constitutionally correct cannot be morally incorrect." Referring to the killing of 14 Hindi-speaking people in Manipur, Mr Tewari said the incident was condemnable.

He expressed the hope that the Manipur government would take steps to ensure that the lives and property of innocent people were protected.

UNI SH YA AS1916

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