Lapang may quit ahead of tomorrow's floor test
Apparently facing defeat, DD Lapang, heading a minority government of a Congress-led coalition in Meghalaya, may quit ahead of Wednesday's crucial floor test.
Highly-placed sources in the Congress said he may take the decision during an emergency meeting of the Congress Legislature Party convened on Tuesday evening.
Asked by Governor SS Sidhu to prove his majority by Wednesday, Chief Minister Lapang had got the Speaker's election postponed on Monday apparently fearing defeat in the first trial of strength.
There was speculation that Lapang may quit before Wednesday's test to avoid embarrassment as the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) was still three short of the magic number, despite desperate attempts to woo MLAs from the rival Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) camp.
The sources also indicated that along with Lapang, state Congress president OL Nongtdu may also quit on moral grounds. With 28 legislators, including three Independents, in the 60-member House, Congress is desperate to win over MLAs from the rival MPA in the floor test.
Governor Sidhu's decision to invite Congress, which emerged as the single-largest party after the recent polls, to form the government was attacked by the rival alliance which moved the Supreme Court against it. The apex court, however, refused to intervene in the issue at that stage.
The postponement of the Speaker's election, which would have been a clear indicator of the strength of the Lapang ministry on the floor of the House, drew flak from MPA.
NCP leader PA Sangma, architect of the MPA, has asked Lapang to resign gracefully. Meanwhile, MPA's chief ministerial candidate and United Democratic Party (UDP) president Donkupar Roy said Congress had approached the the alliance for support.
"We told them it was too late. The MPA members are committed to stay united and give a stable and corruption-free government for five years," Roy said, adding the alliance was hopeful of more votes, other than those in the MPA camp.
Besides 14 NCP MLAs, MPA has legislators from UDP, two from Hill State People's Democratic Party, one each from BJP and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement, besides two Independents.