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I'm ready to quit: Lapang

india Updated: Apr 18, 2010 17:43 IST
lost majority

Admitting that he has "lost majority" in the Congress Legislature Party, Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang today said he is ready to quit, paving the way for his deputy Mukul Sangma to take over the reins.

"Mukul Sangma has the majority. I met the MLAs (who are in Delhi). I asked them, they said yes. I asked him to go ahead. I shall tell Congress President Sonia Gandhi about this," Lapang said over phone from New Delhi.

Asked if he would resign, the beleaguered chief minister, whose ouster has been sought by at least 14 of the 28 Congress MLAs, said, "Definitely. If he (Mukul Sangma) has the majority, what does that mean? In a democracy the number counts. I will meet Madam Gandhi and accordingly I will resign," Lapang, who is expected to meet the party chief later today, said.

"We will not fight for a chair. We will not burn our own house for family differences. We stand as one," he maintained.

Backed by 'majority' of Congress MLAs, Deputy Chief Minister Mukul Sangma yesterday rushed to Delhi, apparently with an eye on the chief minister's post as the row over the leadership issue in Meghalaya hotted up.

With Lapang already camping in New Delhi summoned by the AICC in a bid to find a solution to the nearly two-month-old leadership crisis, Sangma took along with him 14 other Congress MLAs including ten dissidents who had sought Lapang's ouster.

Two other pro-Sangma MLAs are expected to fly to the national capital today.

The development came after 21 of the total 28 Congress MLAs, including some detractors of the chief minister, met at Sangma's residence late on Friday night and pledged "unconditional support" to him, party sources said.

Asked about the development, Sangma said, "The matter is in the court of AICC. We are awaiting its decision."

A series of discussion was held between Sangma, Lapang and AICC leaders since yesterday.

At least 14 dissident MLAs have been pursuing the Congress high command for nearly one month asking for a change of leadership as well as their inclusion in the ministry.

Only six Congress MLAs of the 28 have found berths in Lapang's ministry.

The Congress-led alliance, sworn in last year after the fall of the NCP-led government, enjoys the support of 44 legislators -- 28 from Congress, 9 from UDP, two from Hill State Peoples Democratic Party, one from Khyun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement and four Independents in a House of 60.