SHILLONG, June 1 (IANS): Exerting pressure on party leadership to remove Mukul Sangma from the chief minister's post, rebel Congress legislators in Meghalaya Wednesday told party chief Sonia Gandhi that Sangma had lost majority in the state assembly.
"Mukul Sangma has lost the support of majority of MLAs within the Congress Legislative Party. Thus, presently, there is no effective government in the state," former chief minister D.D. Lapang said in a faxed message to Gandhi.
At least 18 of the 28 Congress legislators in the 60-member assembly are believed to have projected Lapang as a possible successor to Sangma.
In a three paragraph message to Gandhi, Lapang urged the Congress supremo to direct Sangma to convene a Congress Legislature Party meeting at the earliest to address the leadership issue.
However, Friday Lyngdoh, president of the Congress' Meghalaya unit, said that the matter has been resolved.
"The AICC (All India Congress Committee) has made it clear that Mukul will continue as chief minister for the remaining term," Lyngdoh told IANS.
Rebel Congress legislators, however, maintained that the political imbroglio in the state, arising out of the leadership issue, is still very much alive.
"How can he (Lyngdoh) come to the conclusion that the matter has been resolved without having discussed the matter in the CLP (Congress Legislative Party) meeting," said a rebel lawmaker, who did not wish to be named.
The rebel Congress legislators are demanding Sangma's removal, saying that they are not happy with the autocratic style and functioning of Sangma.
Sangma was sworn in chief minister April 21, 2010, after Lapang quit after 21 of the 28 legislators proposed Sangma's name as their new Congress Legislative Party leader.
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.