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Home > India > News > PTI

Meghalaya: Musical chair for CM's post

March 06, 2008 12:49 IST

The people of Meghalaya will witness another round of 'musical chair' for the chief minister's post in the coming days, as several heavyweight state politicians have joined the race and the possibility of a fractured mandate looms large.

Six former Chief Ministers, D D Lapang, P A Sangma, E K Mawlong, F A Khonglam, S C Marak and J D Rymbai, are in the fray this time.

While the Nationalist Congress Party has projected Sangma as its chief ministerial candidate, there seems to be a division of opinion about the Congress contender to the post.  

"The Congress is a disciplined party. The chief minister is decided by the elected MLAs of the party with the approval of the All India Congress Committee. But yes, I am also in the fray," announced Lapang.

Another Congress leader, Deputy Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, is also eyeing the post.

Veteran Congress leader S C Marak, the only chief minister after late Captain W A Sangma to complete full five years in term, is another contender for the top post.

Even though the United Democratic Party, the largest regional party in the state, has projected its President Donkupar Roy as its chief ministerial candidate, J D Rymbai's entry into the party fold after quitting the Congress has forced many to infer that he is an aspirant for the top post.

When D D Lapang read the oath of office and secrecy in the presence of Governor M M Jacob on March 10 last year, he actually became the third chief minister to take oath within a span of four years.

With his return as the CM after remaining in wilderness for just eight months, the game of musical chairs completed a full circle.

Interestingly, never in the history of Meghalaya has any party been able to secure the majority except during the first assembly elections.

The struggle for power is a jigsaw between the Congress and the regional parties, with the state witnessing 18 governments in the last 35 years.

With frequent toppling of governments marking the state's political history, the 18 regimes saw nine chief ministers, with some serving the state for as short as eight months.

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