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Ampareen dismisses rebellion

- Minister backs Mukul

Shillong, Aug. 8: The open rebellion by Congress legislators against Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma will fizzle out, according to cabinet minister Ampareen Lyngdoh.

Ampareen, who is minister in-charge of urban affairs today said “nothing will happen” when questioned about the dissidence, as she believed it will end up the same way like in Assam. “We should learn from what has happened in Assam,” she told reporters here today.

The minister’s assertion was an apparent reference to the failed attempt of dissidents in Assam Congress to remove chief minister Tarun Gogoi and that even if there was a demand to remove Sangma, the story may end just like in Assam.

Ampareen said there were no factions within the party and that she was not aware that some Congress ministers and MLAs led by former Meghalaya chief minister and PCC president D.D. Lapang had gone to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi to register their complaint against Mukul’s leadership.

On August 4, a statement was issued stating Lapang along with forest and environment minister Prestone Tynsong had met Sonia in New Delhi and apprised her of the growing dissatisfaction over the style of governance in Meghalaya, which has affected the relationship among ministers, MLAs, members of district councils, senior leaders of the party and functioning of various departments.

The statement claimed that Sonia had expressed concern in the matter and assured them that she would take the issue seriously and address it at the earliest.

Similarly, a statement issued on August 6 said Lapang, accompanied by Tynsong, transport minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh and former Assembly Speaker Martin M. Danggo met Rahul Gandhi.

While discussing the political situation in the state, the delegation told Rahul that the style of functioning of the Mukul Sangma-led government had brought dissatisfaction, insecurity, lack of development and increase in the number of militant outfits, which had caused a sense of insecurity among citizens.

The urban affairs minister said if there was such dissatisfaction, it has to be based on certain grounds to evaluate it.

Backing Sangma, she said, “Are these dissatisfactions based on emotions or substantive because as I see, there is no substance to the dissatisfaction. The chief minister is going in the right direction and I have full faith in him. I am happy with my chief minister.”

She also claimed that the present government under Sangma’s leadership had taken many good decisions and there has been great progress.

The minister even termed the growth of militancy in Garo hills as a “long-drawn battle”.

“Militancy in Garo hills is a long-drawn battle. It has been going on for many years,” she said, in reply to a question over the rise of a number of militant outfits in the region especially after 2010.

She said one person couldn’t be held responsible for the situation because it is a collective responsibility, adding that even if a chief minister is changed, the problem cannot be solved overnight.

Asked if there would a change of CLP leader, Lyngdoh said a group had elected leaders and individual opinions have no place in a group’s decision.

Following the rebellion, AICC general secretary Luizinho Faleiro, who is in-charge of northeastern states except Assam, was scheduled to visit Meghalaya on August 12 to hold parleys with the Congress legislators and iron out the differences.

However, Faleiro is now likely to cancel the visit.