Shillong, Mar 19: Hours before the trial of strength on the floor of the House, Mr D D Lapang today resigned as Meghalaya Chief Minister after falling short of the majority in the Legislative Assembly. The decision was taken at a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting held at Mr Lapang's residence early this morning.
Earlier, speaking to newspersons on Tuesday, Mr Lapang had said, ''If we get the numbers (31), we will go for a floor test in the House, otherwise I will tender my resignation.'' A CLP meeting was also held yesterday, attended by 22 out of the 28 members, which, however, ended inconclusively. Mr Lapang had also stated that he was ready to be in the Opposition and added, ''I have been in the Opposition earlier and we should learn to carry out our duties from that position.'' Meanwhile, MPA leader and the party's Chief Ministerial candidate Dr Donkupar Roy said, ''We are having the strength of 31 MLAs and the MPA is united, committed and firm to oust the Congress government tomorrow.'' The MPA comprises the NCP (14), UDP (11), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), two Independents and one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement.
Dr Roy, also the UDP president, reiterated the the party's commitment to ensure that the MPA government completed its five-year term.
The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party, was short of just six seats to cross the majority threshold in the 60-member House. The Congress government was then supported by the UDP, HSPDP, MDP and KHNAM, forming the Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA). Mr Lapang, however, roped in three Independent MLAs and increased its tally to 28 seats.