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Cabinet reshuffle on cards in Meghalaya


Shillong, May 23 :

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is likely to reshuffle his cabinet in the wake of the growing dissidence within Congress lawmakers who seek his ouster, a Congress leader said Friday.

“The chief minister is likely to reshuffle his cabinet after the budget session to ensure stability of his government in view of the growing dissidence within the CLP,” a Congress legislator, requesting anonymity, told IANS.

Mukul Sangma, CM, Mehgalaya
Mukul Sangma, CM, Mehgalaya

The budget session is slated to be held from June 6 to 16.

“He (Sangma) is likely to drop some of his ministers to accommodate some of the disgruntled Congress legislators,” the legislator said.

However, Sangma refused to make any comment on the proposed reshuffle. “We don’t reveal such things to the media,” he said.

“Yes, there has been a constant move to unseat me. When we speak of trying to topple me; this is in the present continuous tense, not a past tense. There is nothing new to it,” he said.

The rift within the CLP surfaced in the Lok Sabha elections when some party legislators and ministers openly worked against Vincent H.Pala, the official Congress candidate from Shillong parliamentary constituency.

Meghalaya has seen nine governments with varied combinations, resulting in eight chief ministers between 1998 and 2009. Since Meghalaya attained statehood in 1972, only two chief ministers have completed a full five-year term.

In the 60-member legislature, the Congress emerged the single largest party with 29 seats – two short of a majority in the 60-member house. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which secured two seats, and 11 independent legislators have extended “unconditional support” to the Congress.

The combined opposition Meghalaya People’s Front has 12 members consisting of eight United Democratic Party members, two National People’s Party and two Independent members.

Also in the opposition, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party, which has four members, is, however, not part of the opposition alliance.