Succumbing to the revolt by Congress MLAs, Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang tonight resigned from the post, paving the way for his deputy Mukul Sangma to step into his shoes.
"I have stepped down gracefully and willingly. The majority is with Mukul Sangma. I respect the sentiments of the MLAs," Lapang, who took charge in May last year, said after submitting his resignation to Governor R S Mooshahary.
76-year-old Lapang was asked by the governor to continue till alternative arrangements could be made, Raj Bhavan sources said.
The beleaguered chief minister had faced a revolt by 14 of the 28 party legislators in his government who were demanding his ouster and berths in the ministry.
Lapang, a five-time chief minister, had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi last evening in Delhi to apprise her of the developments. He arrived here and drove straight to Raj Bhavan where he submitted his resignation.
A Congress Legislature Party meeting is scheduled to be held tonight where Sangma will be formally elected as the leader, Lapang said.
At least 21 legislators have pledged 'unconditional support' to the 43-year-old Sangma who will head the fourth government in two years in the same assembly.
AICC Secretary in-charge Meghalaya L Faleiro and senior party leader Oscar Fernandes, who arrived here as AICC observers also met the governor and were understood to have apprised him of the developments.
The current ruling Congress 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.