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CM says leadership issue solved, Lapang disagrees

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday ruled out any demand for change of leadership even as he said that the letter sent by him to the Congress high command was about stability in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
In contrast, MPCC president D.D. Lapang had said on Wednesday that the demand for change of leadership is still an issue and that it was up to the high command to take a final call on the matter.
Lapang had said that the dissidents are waiting for the appointment of a new AICC leader in charge of Meghalaya to pursue the matter.
However, speaking to reporters on Thursday, the chief minister said there was no leadership issue and added that it was a fact that he had appraised the high command through a letter about the current stability of the government.
The chief minister also added that the reference to MPCC president D.D. Lapang and Lok Sabha member from Shillong Vincent Pala was the version provided by NDTV.
“We need to update the high command on the developments and when you run a government there is always a bumpy ride,” the chief minister said.
He further stated that he would convene a CLP meeting shortly, while adding that the minor irritants existing among the Congress legislators will be sorted out.
He, however, pointed out that a few BJP leaders are trying to find out what is happening in the State.
To a question on the 2018 scenario when the State will face the Assembly elections, the    chief minister said going by the history, the Congress had always emerged as the single largest party.
“It will be our endeavor and agenda to cross the 30 mark in the upcoming elections,” he said.
He also cited certain challenges in running the government which include the adverse ruling of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on coal mining and others.
To a query, the chief minister ruled out anti-incumbency as the reason for the debacle of the party in the Tura by-poll even as he said that the question on the functioning of EVMs is still relevant as 80 cases all over the country are still pending for consideration of the Election Commission.
‘No question of joining BJP’
While denying any move to join the BJP, the Chief Minister said the Congress will remain as a major political party despite many setbacks and he will continue to be part of it.
He said that the Indian National Congress has the right ideology and principle as compared to the BJP.
“We are here for the nation’s interest with the right kind of ideology and principle. We do not know whether there is space for this approach in BJP,” the chief minister said.

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