Meghalaya chief minister resigns ahead of trust vote

March 19th, 2008 - 12:51 pm ICT by admin  


Shillong, March 19 (IANS) Ten days after he was sworn in, Congress veteran D.D. Lapang Wednesday resigned as Meghalaya chief minister ahead of the scheduled trust vote in the 60-member state assembly, having failed to muster majority support. Meghalaya Progressive Alliance leader Donkupar Roy is set to become the next chief minister. “We (the Congress) could not gather the necessary support of 31 members in the house and therefore I have decided to resign without the floor test,” Lapang told journalists as he drove to the governor’s residence after a meeting of the Congress legislature party.

Lapang resignation given to Governor S.S. Sidhu has ended one of the shortest terms by any government in Meghalaya, and paved the way for the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA), headed by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP) to form the new government with the support of 31 members.

The Congress had emerged as the largest single party in the March 3 poll, bagging 25 seats, and had enlisted the support of three independent members. Still, the party fell short of three legislators. Lapang’s attempts at wooing members of some of the MPA constituents failed, leading to his resignation before the trial of strength in the assembly.

Apart from 14 members from the NCP and 11 from the UDP, the MPA alliance has with it two members from the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), and one each from the Khun Hynnieutrip National Awakening Movement and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The alliance has two independent members in its fold.

It was NCP leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma’s masterstroke, of quickly stitching together an alliance with all the regional parties and entering into a power sharing deal, giving up his claim to chief ministership for the first half of the term, that halted what looked like a smooth sailing for the Congress.

UDP president Donkupar Roy is all set to take over as chief minister of the MPA government, a combine that has propelled ‘king maker’ Sangma to the centre stage of Meghalaya politics.

Sangma has quit his Lok Sabha seat after forging the MPA alliance and has declared that he will not return to national politics and will concentrate in Meghalaya’s development and progress.

“Our claim that we are a united lot that cannot be lured by the Congress’ money power has been vindicated,” Sangma told IANS Wednesday.

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