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CM to reshuffle cabinet today

Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma on Monday said that he will reshuffle his cabinet, the decision coming at a time when a group of his party legislators are seeking his ouster.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2011 09:42 IST

Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma on Monday said that he will reshuffle his cabinet, the decision coming at a time when a group of his party legislators are seeking his ouster.

The cabinet reshuffle, which is likely to see the induction of four new faces, would be announced on Tuesday.

The four new faces likely to join Sangma's cabinet include three Congress legislators who earlier demanded his removal - SW Rymbai, Saleng Sangma and Bharatiya Janata Party leader-turned-Congress legislator Alexander Hek. The fourth new face is likely to be Shitlang Pale.

Sangma's deputy Rowell Lyngdoh announced last week that the chief minister had lost the support of a majority of the party's 28 legislators.

On his return from New Delhi on Monday evening, Sangma drove to the Raj Bhavan to inform governor RS Mooshahary about his plan to reshsuffle the cabinet.

"I have briefed the governor about the changes I propose to bring about in my ministry tomorrow (Tuesday)," Sangma told over the phone.

He said that the reshuffle has the approval of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

"The party chief will give us an audience tomorrow (Tuesday) where we will present our case and prevail upon her to direct the chief to convene a Congress Legislature Party meeting as this is the only way to settle the issue," said a rebel Congress legislator said.

The rebel Congress legislators are demanding Sangma's removal, saying that they were not happy with his autocratic style of functioning. Sangma was sworn-in chief minister April 21, 2010.

The Congress enjoys the support of nine United Democratic Party (UDP) members. The Nationalist Congress Party, the main opposition, has 15 members.

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.