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Lapang supporters give shape to leader’s NPP plan

NONGPOH: Is he or is he not? There has been widespread speculation for months that DD Lapang will join the National People’s Party (NPP), which is seen as the obvious move under the given circumstances. And now it is finally happening.
Lapang, who had been discreet about his political plans till recently, has at last revealed the card that he was holding close to his chest. The veteran leader will join the party that gave him “due respect” and acknowledged his contributions to the state.
Though Lapang used an astute politician’s lingua to say “I will join NPP”, the meaning was explicit.
“I cannot be alone; I have to work with a likeminded party where I can continue to serve my people,” Lapang told his supporters during a meeting at his residence at Pahamsohthri on Saturday.
Supporters of the veteran politician who had gathered at Pahamsohthri were unanimous in declaring their willingness to join NPP under Lapang’s leadership. They expressed their gratitude to the MDA government for appointing Lapang as the chief advisor to the state government.
Lapang, who is a father figure to a large section of the population in Ri Bhoi, was seen smiling approvingly when his supporters insisted that he join NPP to continue his political career.
Rejecting possibilities of his return to the Congress, Lapang said, “They (the Congress leadership) have thrown me into the dustbin. The present government without asking me to join its party, picked me up from the dustbin and appointed me as the chief advisor to the government to serve people after considering my experience and contributions.”
He added that the Congress cannot stop him from serving his people and there is no retirement age in politics.
“My family and I will continue to serve the people. The Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi wanted to phase out senior leaders like me and others. I respect their new policy, which is why I give them Mayralborn Syiem, a young and dynamic leader from Nongpoh constituency,” Lapang said, adding that this “new policy” had cost the party to lose several seats in the last Assembly elections which had been in the past represented by senior leaders like RC Laloo, Roshan Wajri and others.
However, if Lapang joins the NPP, then not only the Congress but other parties in the district will be impacted as many senior leaders and loyal supporters of Lapang from all the five constituencies of Ri Bhoi will follow him.
Lapang’s life story in CD
Lapang also released an audio CD about his life story composed by Lansius Syiemlieh and sung by Anthony Khyriem, both residents of Quinine village in Umsning constituency.
The meeting which was chaired by former Congress leader RB Shadap, also witnessed the presence of prominent leaders from Ri Bhoi like former KHADC CEM Rangkynsai Makdoh, former Ri Bhoi District Congress Committee working president Minsing Makri, former PDF Umsning zone youth leader Watson Kharkrang, former Umroi MDC FM Mawphniang, former Jirang Block Congress president Najim Kharmalki and Mawhati Mahila Congress president Santi Jyrwa.

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