Sonia intervenes to resolve Meghalaya leadership crisis

May 6th, 2011 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Shillong, May 6 (IANS) Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has called Friday Lyngdoh, president of the party’s Meghalaya unit to New Delhi for talks to resolve the internal bickering among legislators demanding removal of Mukul Sangma as chief minister, a party official said Friday.

At least 18 of the 28 Congress legislators in the 60-member state assembly are believed to have projected D.D. Lapang as a possible successor to Sangma.

“The party high command (Congress president Sonia Gandhi) has asked me to come to Delhi to discuss the political spillover due to demands of our legislators to remove Mukul,” Lyngdoh told IANS.

Lyngdoh, who will be accompanied by party working president Debora C. Marak, is scheduled to meet Gandhi May 10 at her residence in New Delhi.

Congress floor managers, general secretary Dhani Ram Shandil who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Meghalaya, and his deputy Sanjay Bapna were in Shillong last month but failed to cut ice with the rebel Congress legislators.

Presently, the legislators, camping in New Delhi, are making all efforts to again bring in veteran Congress leader Lapang to replace Sangma.

“We have met a few of our party’s senior leaders here (in New Delhi) and told them that we have lost faith in Sangma’s leadership,” a rebel Congress legislator told IANS over phone but refused to be named.

“We are not at all happy with the style and functioning of Mukul. He takes unilateral decisions on several projects without consulting others,” the legislator said.

Lapang resigned as chief minister April 20 last year after 21 of the 28 legislators proposed Sangma’s name.

Sangma, who is heading a four-party government, had exuded confidence that he would complete his term.

“I am aware of the political moves but they will not dilute the very essence of our guiding principles to serve the public and would continue (to be the chief minister) till 2013,” Sangma had said.

Meghalaya has seen nine governments with varied combinations, resulting in eight chief ministers between 1998 and 2009. Since Meghalaya attained statehood in 1972, only two chief ministers have completed a full five-year term.

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