Donkupar Roy sworn in as CM after Lapang quits

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Shillong, Mar 19 (UNI) Meghalaya Progressive Alliance(MPA) leader Dr Donkupar Roy was sworn in as Chief Minister today, replacing the ten-day old Congress-led minority government of D D Lapang.

Six more members--one each from its allies A L Hek(BJP), Paul Lyngdoh(KHNAM), Conrad K Sangma and Dr Advisor Pariong(HSPDP) and two Independents, Manas Chaudhuri and Don Kupar Massar--were also inducted into the MPA ministry.

Governor S S Sidhu administered the oath of office and secrecy to Dr Roy and his cabinet colleagues at the Raj Bhavan.

Pro-tem Speaker Hoping Stone Lyngdoh, outgoing Chief Minister D D Lapang and senior administrative and police officials were among those present on the occasion.

Dr Roy later told reporters that the remaining five members would be inducted tomorrow after the election of the Assembly Speaker.

Earlier in the morning, Mr Lapang drove straight to the Raj Bhawan and handed over his resignation letter after presiding over the Congress Legislature Party meeting, which approved his decision to bow down.

''The Congress led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) could not muster enough support and the CLP meeting this morning felt that I should resign,'' Mr Lapang told reporters.

The Congress-led MUA with 28 legislators was supposed to test its strength in the 60-member House, currently 59 as election to Baghmara seat was countermanded following the death of a candidate.

However, Mr Hoping Stone Lyngdoh read out the letter of resignation of Mr Lapang in the House as MPA legislators took their seats, while none of the MUA members was present in the House.

Mr Lyngdoh then adjourned the House till tomorrow.

On March 10, the Governor swore in D D Lapang as chief minister of the minority MUA after being assured that he would prove his majority in the House within ten-days.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party, was short of just six seats to cross the majority threshold in the House.

In fact, the Congress required just three more legislators to tip the balance in their favour but failed to sway any. Ironically, they failed despite giving them (rival legislators) to 'choose-n-pick' ministerial berth offer! The five non-Congress parties, under the banner of the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA), has 31 legislators. The combine is NCP (14), UDP (11), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement and two Independents, which totals 31 in the 60-member Assembly.

UNI RRK PL MSJ BST1847

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