Amid a row over the elevation of three MLAs of the ruling Congress-led alliance to the rank of chief minister, Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday said a legislator who was a chief minister in the past cannot be "demoted".
"It is not proper for any political arrangement where an MLA who was a former chief minister is demoted. This has been a tradition in Meghalaya," Sangma, also in charge of Finance department, told reporters.
He said one must understand the "political management" that is required to be resorted to in a coalition government.
"We have MLAs, who happen to be former chief ministers. So long as they are MLAs, it is befitting for us to recognise and acknowledge their services and give them the status of chief minister," Sangma said.
After the elevation of the rank and status of Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president Friday Lyngdoh to the rank and status of chief minister, there are four political leaders in the ruling Congress-led alliance to enjoy that status.
Two leaders of United Democratic Party (UDP), which is the main partner in the alliance, also enjoys the same status – State Planning Board chairman Donkupar Roy and Meghalaya Economic Development Council chairman J D Rymbai.