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Sangma's threat: Fast unto death!
Irked at the imposition of President?s rule, senior NCP leader Purno Sangma met various leaders of different national political parties in New Delhi. Sangma has threatened to go on fast unto death demanding immediate recall of the Meghalaya governor.

SENIOR NATIONALIST Congress Party (NCP) leader Purno Sangma approached Hon'ble President Pratibha Patil and demanded immediate recall of the Meghalaya governor for his “biased report” which led to the Central rule. “We have strongly demanded that the governor of Meghalaya, who is the main cause of instability in the state, be immediately recalled,” Sangma said after his meeting with the President.

Sangma, the architect of the ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA), said the imposition of the President's rule was “unconstitutional”.

“We met Rashtrapati Patil and lodged a formal complaint against the unconstitutional imposition of President rule in Meghalaya. We pointed out to the President that any promulgation under article 356 have to be ratified by the Parliament because the President assumes the executive power but President always gives the legislative power to the parliament and today Parliament is not there,” Sangma, who led a delegation of state NCP leaders, said. He said the country is in the midst of election and even the constitutional mandate of ratification cannot be fulfilled.

“If President's rule in the state is not revoked by Tuesday (March 24), I, along with other leaders from the North-East, would go on a fast-unto-death from Wednesday (March 25) in Delhi,” Sangma said over phone from New Delhi. While Sangma will observe fast in New Delhi the former chief minister would do the same at Shillong. This will be followed by series of massive agitation programmes all over the North East with the support of the like-minded non-Congress parties.

Claiming that the Congress has a majority in the Meghalaya Assembly, former chief minister DD Lapang said the party will stake claim at an “appropriate time” to form the government in the state which is under President's rule.

“We don't want President's rule to continue for longer time in Meghalaya. We have the majority. We will stake claim at an appropriate time,” Lapang said. Lapang claimed the group of MLAs headed by Congress was in “majority” in the 60-member Assembly as its number stands at 29 now.

“The decision of court on the status of two MLAs is yet to come. Besides, we want stability. But we also do not want President's rule to continue for a longer period,” Lapang told over telephone from New Delhi.

Terming the United Democratic Party (UDP)-led coalition as bundle contradictions, Lapang said the Donkupar Roy-led government was totally a non-functional and non-performing one.

Coming down heavily on NCP leader Sangma, Lapang said former Lok Sabha Speaker was seen knocking at the doors of BJP leader LK Advani and Communist leader Prakash Karat “who are ideologically poles apart”.

“This shows the rag tag coalition has no ideology and is ready to take help from anybody and any party to remain in power,” he said.

“On one hand Sangma has announced that NCP will have no truck with Congress, on the other hand the party president Sharad Pawar has already reached a seat-sharing agreement with the Congress in Maharashtra,” he said.

Justifying the imposition of President's rule in the state on the ground of “breakdown of constitutional machinery”, Lapang said, “The suspension of MLAs by Speaker BM Lanong was unconstitutional and illegal. He misused his authority. Besides, he has no moral right to give his casting vote as a no-confidence motion against him (Speaker) was supposed to come up for discussion on March 27.”

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