Lapang blames Rahul, state Congress for ignoring him

NONGPOH: DD Lapang, who returned home from the Capital on Monday, blamed AICC president Rahul Gandhi and his new policy to give mileage to young leaders at the cost of senior members for his decision to resign from the party.
The former chief minister, who was accorded a warm welcome in Byrnihat and his local residence at Pahamsohthri in Nongpoh on Monday, was with the Congress for over four decades.
For the first time after tendering his resignation to the AICC, Lapang said he was sidelined on several occasions even by state Congress leaders.
“I have been a faithful Congress member for more than 45 years. I resigned from the party because of the new policy adopted by the AICC president, Rahul Gandhi, which states that elderly and senior members of the party must be pushed out to make way for young leaders. This hurt my sentiments as I still want to serve people,” said the disgruntled leader, who is lovingly called Maheh by his supporters.
“I have sacrificed a lot for the party and this new policy adopted by the AICC president seems like he does not respect the contributions made by senior and elderly members of the party. It is of no use to be in the Congress when they no longer need a senior leader like me,” he told reporters after his felicitation.
Lapang had turned down requests of almost all state leaders, including Mukul Sangma and Vincent Pala.
Other leaders present at the function supported Lapang’s decision as they too had witnessed the “disrespect and insult” towards Lapang by the present Congress leaders on several occasions.
The leaders said Lapang was a father figure to the people of Ri Bhoi and he did not deserve to be treated this way as he has immense contributions to the district, the state as well as the country.
They asserted that they would continue to support him in whatever decision he takes as “he is one of the most trusted and dynamic leaders that the district has produced so far”.
“We will not get a leader like him even in hundred years,” said RB Shadap, a prominent leader in Ri Bhoi.
Open to parties
Though he did not make it clear which party he would join, Lapang said, “I will continue serving people in whatever capacity and if any likeminded leaders who share the same views and opinions irrespective of any political parties happen to convince me, then only I will decide my future course of action, that too in consultations with my people.”
Sawkmie flayed
When asked what he had to say about the comments of Mawlai legislator PT Sawkmie who said had the Congress been in power, Lapang would have not resigned, the veteran leader replied that such kind of “baseless and immature comments” coming from this particular leader “shows that he has experiences in doing that himself”.
“Congress has been in and out of power in the state, I have been an opposition leader for several times, but I did not resign from the party for my own personal benefits as alleged by this leader (PT Sawkmie),” Lapang said, adding that the media can even check his track records if they wished to.
Leaders from different political parties as well as pressure groups were part of the felicitation programme led by RB Shadap, a former Congress leader in the district and two former chief executive members of KHADC RR Makdoh and CB Syiem.
Working President of Ri Bhoi District Congress Committee Min Makri, PDF Women Front leader from Umsning zone Aidalyne Syiemlieh and scores of other prominent leaders from the district were also part of the felicitation programme here.
Lapang expressed his gratitude to the leaders for organising the programme which he never expected as no intimations had been made prior to his arrival from New Delhi.