Congress may sack senior Meghalaya party leader

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Shillong, May 1 (UNI) Former Meghalaya Home Minister R G Lyngdoh is likely to be put under suspension for six years for criticising and blaming the Congress High Command for interfering in the state affairs.

The state Congress has served a showcause to Mr Lyngdoh, a senior Congress leader, seeking explanation for terming the Congress a ''greedy political party that lacks principles and values''.

Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president O L Nongtdu told UNI here today, ''We are still awaiting his reply and if he fails to reply, the party has no other option but to take disciplinary action and even suspend him from the primary membership of the Congress for six years.'' Mr Lyngdoh, who was elected twice to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly after his father, Peter G Marbaniang, a staunch Congressman, Lok Sabha MP, senior state Cabinet Minister and Assembly Speaker, had quit the party citing the ''dictatorial attitude'' of the Congress High Command.

''I will soon submit my resignation to the Congress as I am fed up with its dictatorial attitude. I am leaving the Congress as the party is greedy and lacks principles and values,'' Mr Lyngdoh had said.

His younger sister Ampareen Lyngdoh, the lone woman MLA, was also a senior Congress leader and had left the party after she was denied the party ticket and successfully contested the March 3 Assembly elections as United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate.

Mr Lyngdoh showed his political charisma soon after being elected to the Assembly in 1998. He was elevated as Meghalaya Home Minister at a time when the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council militant outfit was at its peak.

His tough decision against the tribal Khasi militant outfit also showed him as a new generation leader who would take over the mantle of leadership of the Congress in Meghalaya.

However, many of the senior Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister D D Lapang, were at loggerheads with Mr Lyngdoh as the latter was perceived as a threat to his leadership.

The dispute between the two came out in the open as Mr Lapang was dislodged from the Chief Minister's post in 2006 with senior Congress leader J D Rymbai replacing him.

However, Mr Lapang bounced back after a year with much support from the Congress High Command.

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