By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: The Congress-led MUA-II Government in the State has not awarded ‘Chief Minister’ status to any of the former chief ministers who have been appointed as chairmen of the various corporations and public sector undertakings.
As per the latest list of political appointees, two former chief ministers – DD Lapang and Salseng C Marak – have been awarded the rank and status of cabinet ministers.
While Lapang has been appointed as the Chief Adviser to the State Government besides being nominated as Chairman of the State Government Programme Implementation and Monitoring Committee, Marak has been appointed as the Chairman of the State Planning Board.
After taking over as the Chief Minister for the second consecutive term, Dr Mukul Sangma has given his assent to as many as 42 political appointees, which include several sitting Congress and Independent legislators who are supporting the Government.
The MLAs who were neither accorded Cabinet berth nor appointed as parliamentary secretaries have been inducted as chairmen or vice chairmen.
Prominent names whose names figure in the list of political appointees include Mawsynram legislator and KHADC CEM Pynshngaiñlang N Syiem (Congress) who has been appointed as Chairman of the Meghalaya Economic Development Council; Ranikor legislator Martin M Danggo (Congress) who has been appointed as Chairman of the State Level Public Grievances Committee and also Chairman of the Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation.
Mylliem legislator Ronnie V Lyngdoh (Congress) has been appointed as Chairman of the Meghalaya Government Construction Corporation Limited while first-time Congress MLA from Umroi, Ngaitlang Dhar, has been appointed as Chairman of the Meghalaya Commission on Resource Mobilization.
Former HNLC chairman and Independent legislator from Mawhati, Julius Dorphang, has been appointed as Chairman of the Meghalaya Khadi and Village Industries Board.
As expected, former MLAs who failed to win from their respective constituencies in the Assembly election held in February, have also been accommodated as chairmen and deputy chairmen of various corporations and public sectors undertakings. Prominent names in this list include that of former Rajya Sabha member OL Nongtdu who has been appointed as Chairman of the Mawmluh Cherra Cement Limited and former Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope who has been appointed as Chairman of the Forest Development Corporation of Meghalaya.
Interestingly, Additional Advocate General of Meghalaya, BP Todi, has been appointed as Chairman of the State Task Force for Resource Mobilization.
It may be mentioned that there has been instances in the past when Meghalaya had more than 45 ministers in the House of 60 prior to the downsizing of the Cabinet.
After the strength of the ministry was cut down to 12, a trend began where those legislators who could not be accommodated as ministers got placement in various boards and corporations with perks and allowances equivalent to that of a cabinet minister or ministers of state.