AICC leaders non-committal on dissidence in M’laya CLP

AICC general secretary in charge Meghalaya V. Narayanasamy, AICC secretary in charge Vijaylaxmi Sadho, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and MPCC president D.D. Lapang during a press conference in the city on Friday.

SHILLONG: Serious rumblings in the ruling Congress Legislature Party over Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s controversial style of functioning resurfaced on Friday as two AICC leaders, who arrived here on Thursday, tried to make a sense of the gravity of the situation.
Former Union Minister V. Narayanasamy and AICC secretary Vijaylaxmi Sadho held a series of closed-door meetings with both camps who tried to plae their case before the visiting central party leader. However, there was no CLP meeting convened to take a collective call on the leadership issue.
What transpired at these meetings were not shared with the media, but it was amply clear that the AICC leaders lent ears to both sides and promised to submit a report to the party high command.
By far, the day’s most significant development was when the two leaders called on senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister, Salseng C. Marak, who is spearheading the move for change of leadership, and held a closed-door meeting at his residence which lasted for almost an hour.
Though the outcome of the meeting was kept as secret, party sources said that the AICC leaders will submit a report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the unhappiness of a section of the Congress legislators to work under the Chief Minister and the high command is expected to take a decision at an appropriate time.
While other Congress leaders including Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and MPCC president D.D. Lapang had called on the AICC duo, it was a change of course when they met Marak separately at his residence raising speculations that the AICC leaders wanted to know the grievances of the ‘dissident’ Congress legislators from his mouth before they prepare the report to be submitted to the party president.
Party sources said that Marak duly conveyed the grievances of the Congress legislators on the style and functioning of the Chief Minister and the need for a change of leadership to the AICC leaders.
After Marak’s meeting with the AICC leaders, Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh also met the AICC functionaries at Marak’s residence and apprised them of the functioning of the Government.
However, when reporters met S.C. Marak, he did not divulge any details and only said that he had a fruitful discussion with the central leaders and they gave a patient hearing to whatever he had to say.
He, however, revealed that the grievances of the Congress legislators which had been conveyed to him were relayed to the AICC leaders.
Interestingly, other dissident Congress legislators, including H.D.R. Lyngdoh, who have been critical of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, did not meet the AICC leaders.
After the AICC leaders’ meeting with Marak, the Chief Minister, accompanied by his wife D.D. Shira, met Narayanasamy on Friday night.
Narayanasamy told reporters that he had met some senior Congress leaders but refused to make public the outcome of their discussion.
Asked whether the issue of dissidence in the Congress and the charge sheet against Cabinet Minister Deborah Marak had figured in the meeting with the senior State Congress leaders, Narayanasamy said, “All issues were discussed but we cannot divulge the nature of the discussions.”
To a question, Narayanasamy replied that he will submit a report to the Congress high command on the Meghalaya situation.
Deborah meets Narayanasamy
The charge-sheeted Cabinet Minster Deborah Ch. Marak separately met AICC leaders V. Narayanasamy and Vijayalaxmi Sadho and handed over the papers related to the case to them apparently to prove the point that she was a victim of political machination.
Party sources said that Deborah apprised them of the circumstances which led to the charge sheet being filed against her.
According to sources, the AICC leaders wanted to know whether the matter was brought to the notice of the state party leadership or whether any discussion had taken place at the Government level.
Earlier it was reported that it was only after reading the newspapers that both MPCC president D.D. Lapang and senior Congress leader S.C. Marak had come to know about the matter.