Shillong, Sept 14: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma on Friday said that due respect should have been given by the Congress to former Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader, Dr D.D. Lapang, but “it is sad that he has no other option but to resign from the party.”
Conrad, who is the national president of the National People’s Party (NPP) told reporters that “it was sad that Lapang was forced to resign from the party when he has contributed so much to the state and the Congress party. Seeing all works that he had done and contributions, he (Lapang) should have been given due respect. But it is sad that he has no other option but to resign from the Congress.”
Conrad also said that a person of his (Lapang) stature should not have been treated in that manner.
On Thursday, Lapang, who has been the face of the Congress in Meghalaya and the Northeast, submitted his resignation letter to AICC president, Rahul Gandhi alleging that lately the AICC has been embarking upon a policy of “phasing out senior and elderly people.”
Lapang was the president of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and took oath as chief minister of the state five times. He had represented as MLA of Nongpoh Assembly constituency since 1972. He lost the Assembly elections only once in 1993. In the 2018 Assembly elections, Lapang decided not to contest from Nongpoh but worked for Mayrald Born Syiem, who got elected as Congress MLA and became his successor.
The veteran politician quit the Congress after associating with it for more than 40 years.
Before leaving the party, Lapang was also the Advisor to the MPCC.
“In my opinion, it means that the service and contribution of senior and elderly people is no longer useful to the party. Since the spirit and enthusiasm to work for the people is still burning inside me, this restriction frustrated and compelled me to be no longer comfortable to be in the party. With my present age and health condition, I have decided to continue serving the people of the country, my state and its people in the same manner wherever I am. Therefore, reluctantly and with my heavy heart, I would like to discontinue my dedication towards the Congress party and I tender my resignation with immediate effect,” Lapang said in his resignation letter.
Conrad said that Lapang has a lot of concerns for the people of the state.
“I am happy to see that he is taking up issues concerning the people of the state. I think the Congress will realise that it is a great loss to them.
To a question whether the NPP would welcome Lapang, Conrad said, “We are a party which is in coalition, and always look at individuals who are concerned for the people. If he comes to NPP, UDP or PDF, that is nothing that I can say. But people with such track record, experience, and knowledge, can be used in so many ways.”