In Meghalaya, it takes 4 to tango | india | Hindustan Times
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In Meghalaya, it takes 4 to tango

Meghalaya has been ruled by ‘collision’ governments since 1978, says the state assembly’s website.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2010 00:08 IST
Rahul Karmakar

Meghalaya has been ruled by ‘collision’ governments since 1978, says the state assembly’s website.

A Freudian slip, as parties have always collided with each other, giving the state 23 governments and two phases of President’s Rule in 38 years since it attained statehood in 1972. But on Thursday, the Congress adopted a different strategy for stability: it decided to humour all the aspiring chief ministers.

DD Lapang’s Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government elevated state Congress chief Friday Lyngdoh to the rank of CM. A year back, two former CMs, Donkupar Roy and J.D. Rymbai, were similarly reinstated.

While Lapang defended the move, John F. Kharshiing, spokesperson of the Federation of Khasi States, told HT: “I wouldn’t mind being notified as the fifth CM free of cost if it helps... improve governance...”

In 1978, B.B. Lyngdoh became chief of the Meghalaya United Legislative Party alliance government for less than a month before a lottery among the MLAs tipped the scale in favour of D.D. Pugh.

This was after Lyngdoh and Pugh led a breakaway faction of the All Party Hill Leaders’ Conference (APHLC) to victory after Capt Williamson Sangma — the first CM — switched over to the Congress.

But Lyngdoh ended Pugh’s 13-month run by teaming up with the Congress to form government in May 1979. Lyngdoh’s APHLC and the Congress set a precedent by equally dividing the rest of the term.

In 2001, independent MLA F.A. Khonglam headed the People’s Forum of Meghalaya government after the NCP toppled the 21-month-old Meghalaya Parliamentary Forum government, which replaced B.B. Lyngdoh’s government, which in turn had ousted the Congress in 1998.