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UDP plea to sack Mukul

- Pranab, Shinde briefed on CM’s alleged rebel links

Shillong, Jan. 21: The Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) today sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention in sacking Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma for his alleged links with a militant outfit.

The UDP, along with leaders of the North East Regional Parties’ Front (NERPF), met the President and Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi today.

Speaking from New Delhi, UDP legislator T.W. Chyne said the President told the delegation that he would take up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while Shinde assured the delegation that he would look into the issues raised.

Chyne also said that apart from the issue relating to the alleged nexus between Sangma and the ANVC (B), the forum had also raised several other issues.

In a memorandum addressed to Mukherjee, UDP president Donkupar Roy said the claim made by ANVC (B) political secretary Ajaju Marak deserved “due attention and thorough investigation”.

“The claim of the ANVC (B) deserves due attention and thorough investigation since the chronology of events have vital links with the militant’s claims,” he said.

Roy, while asking for a CBI probe into the “covert political patronage provided by the government to militants”, demanded that the chief minister be sacked from office until proven innocent.

The UDP president also reminded the President that in the run-up to last year’s state Assembly polls, jailed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) chairman Champion R. Sangma made an appeal to support the Congress party.

The former chief minister also alleged that Champion’s “surrender” was done in a hush-hush manner and that he was given “special treatment,” unlike other militants and criminals.

UDP working president Bindo M. Lanong said the chief minister should “voluntarily” step aside so that due process of law could be followed while investigating the allegation.

“As long as he continues to be in office, there will be no fairness,” Lanong alleged.