SHILLONG: A day after MPCC president Friday Lyngdoh declared that the AICC president Sonia Gandhi is not in favour of any change of leadership, former chief minister DD Lapang said the issue (leadership) is very much alive.
“The issue of leadership is being examined by the AICC president. We are all hopeful she (Sonia) will communicate to the State and a CLP meeting will be convened to resolve the issue amicably,” Lapang, who has been projected by the dissidents as an alternative to incumbent Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, told a section of journalists on Tuesday.
Lapang also asserted the need to hold the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting to settle the leadership issue once and for all.
“The AICC is all aware about the grievances of the dissident MLAs which led them to demand for the change of leadership,” he said, adding “there was no final word from the AICC leaders on the complaints.”
The leader of the rebel camp, however, maintained that he would not allow any split in the party over the leadership issue although the campaign for change of leadership would continue.
“We are committed to maintain unity though 18 legislators are demanding a change of leadership,” he said.
Citing political history of the State, Lapang said such differences would not lead to any split in the party as it did not happen in the past too.
Pointing out to the fact that change of leadership is not new to the Congress in Meghalaya, Lapang said 18 (dissidents) is not a small group and they would abide by any decision to be taken at the CLP meeting to solve the issue of leadership.
Lapang said as per the convention, the AICC directs the State Congress to hold a CLP meeting to solve such crisis over leadership.
“In the past, during CLP meetings I had even proposed the names of JD Rymbai and Mukul Sangma as CLP leaders,” Lapang mentioned.
Meanwhile, a few dissidents have criticised the statement of party president Friday Lyngdoh that the AICC president did not want to see any more change of leadership in the State.
“These are his personal views and no final decision has been arrived at by the AICC on the issue,” they said.
After knowing about Friday’s comment, top leaders from Delhi have questioned AICC general secretary in-charge Meghalaya, Dr Dhaniram Shandil and his deputy Sanjay Bapna for giving such “misleading statement” as no decision has been taken regarding the leadership issue, sources said.
Last month, Sonia Gandhi had rushed in Shandil and Bapna to Shillong but both failed to cut ice with the rebel Congress legislators.