Mukul makes dent in dissident group

A Correspondent

Shillong, May 29: Congress legislators siding with Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma today said that Dr DD Lapang, as president of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), should have played the role of a pacifier instead of a “toppler” in the current crisis that has gripped the party.

According to sources, those siding with Dr Sangma in the current standoff said that the rebel group should have met the Chief Minister to vent their grievances. The sources, however, admitted that there are differences in the cabinet.

“We have differences in the cabinet but they (dissidents) should have tried to resolve it through a meeting with the Chief Minister,” Congress sources said.  

Contrary to reports, those with the Chief Minister also said that they did not know that there was a proposed meeting at the house of Dr Lapang on Saturday evening which was later postponed.

Meanwhile, Shillong Lok Sabha MP Vincent H Pala feigned ignorance over reports that he was supposed to play the role of a facilitator between those legislators who are not happy with the style of functioning of Dr Sangma and the AICC leaders.

Reportedly, Pala who is currently camping in Shillong was asked to speak to all legislators in Shillong and fix up a meeting so that the Congress legislators can meet the AICC leaders.

It may be mentioned that the proposed meeting of dissident Congress legislators supposed to be held on Saturday night was postponed since the AICC general secretary in-charge for Meghalaya V rayasamy has been picked as the Chief Minister of Puducherry.

The dissidents will have to wait till an AICC in-charge for Meghalaya is appointed.

Sources also pointed out that the dissidents have not yet been able to project a leader who could be an altertive to Dr Sangma.

There are also reports that three Congress ministers - Ampareen Lyngdoh, Roshan Warji and HDR Lyngdoh, who were part of the dissident group, have shifted their allegiance to extend support to the Chief Minister.

The trio pledged their support to the Chief Minister during a meeting with him at his official residence on Saturday evening.

Sources, however, said that they have done so fearing that they might lose their respective places in the cabinet if a new leader is elected.

Prestone Tynsong is also not finding favour with a certain section of the dissidents.

In a meeting held last week in New Delhi, the AICC wanted a plan of action from the dissidents before they meet the party high command.

In the recent meeting in Delhi with Lapang and Shillong MP Vincent Pala, AICC leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Congress leader rayasamy wanted all the Congress legislators to come to Delhi to air their views and grievances against the Chief Minister.

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