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Lapang's trial of strength tomorrow

india Updated: May 24, 2009 14:02 IST
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Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang, heading a Congress-led coalition of regional parties and Independents, will face the trial of strength on the floor of the assembly on Monday.

The Business Advisory Committee of the assembly has decided to hold a day-long sitting of the assembly to facilitate the trial of strength as well as the Speaker's election.

Lapang was sworn in as the chief minister for the fifth time on May 13 after Congress tied up with United Democratic Party, two months after the year-old NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) collapsed following the withdrawal of support from two Independents, the lone MLA from Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) and an NCP legislator.

Lapang, heading the coalition, was given 15 days time to prove his majority by Governor R S Mooshahary after two months of President's Rule.

Two MLAs from HSPDP, Independents and the lone Khnam MLA, all of whom were part of the MPA, also have offered support to the Congress-led coalition taking its strength to 43 (Congress 26, Independents 5, UDP 9, HSPDP 2 and KHNAM 1) in the 60-member house.

The trial of strength is likely to be presided over by Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai, an NCP MLA who deserted the MPA and pledged support to Congress against his party wishes.

The election of the Speaker will also be held on Monday.

The Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance has fielded senior Congress leader and former minister Charles Pyngrope as its candidate while the NCP has fielded John M Marak as its nominee.