19 out 29 Congress MLAs demand Chief Minister Lapang's scalp
Shillong, Jun 5 (UNI) In an open revolt to Chief Minister D D Lapang, 19 Congress MLAs of 29 in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly tonight demanded change of leadership and threatened to elect a new CLP leader soon.
Reacting to the sudden turn of events, Mr Lapang, a veteran Congress stalwart representing Nongpoh seat in Ri-Bhoi district, said he was ready to step down if party high command Sonia Gandhi desired so.
The rebellion might prove fatal to the present Cong-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, for the major chunk of Congress MLAs who had been clamouring for a berth in the Lapang-led council ministers did not get any till the last reshuffle.
The rebel group held a parallel meeting at Mr Charles Pyngrope's residence in an open revolt to teh offical Congress Legislature Party meeting held at Mr Lapang's residence this evening.
The CLP meeting at the CM's residence was attended by only nine MLAs including Speaker M M Dango and Deputy Speaker.
Rebel leader Charles Pyngrope told UNI here that they would hold a separate CLP meeting and inform AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Union DONER Minister P R Kyndiah of the development (seeking change of leadership).
''We will elect our new CLP leader soon'', he said.
In his reaction to the open burst, which had been in the offing for the past few months, the Chief Minister said he would not mind stepping in the best interest of the state.
''I will abide by the AICC high command'', what the beleagured Chief Minister told reporters here.
Interestingly, former Deputy Chief Minister Mukul Manda Sangma was conspicuous through his absence in both the camps.
The rebel camp comprised former Home Minister R G Lyngdoh, Tonsing Marak, former Speaker and health minister E D Marak, K K Dkhar, T C Lyngdoh, Beckster K Sangma (all former ministers) among prominet ones.
The rebel camp said the Chief Minister had failed to deliver goods and hence step down owing moral responsibility.