SHILLONG, Aug 03: Call it the dictate of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) or a pay back to the dissident Congress legislators, the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) government with few months before the state goes to polls has announced a cabinet reshuffle wherein the two alleged disgruntled senior Congress MLAs have been stripped of their Ministership and two new faces will be inducted.
Living up to its name of capricious politics, the Congress led government has dropped a senior Congress legislator Prestone Tynsong, often alleged to be disgruntled as minister in – charge Public Health Engineering department besides PWD minister Sniawbhalang Dhar who was accused of indulging in anti party activities.
Sources informed that Celestine Lyngdoh and Coming One Ymbon – who earlier held posts of parliamentary secretaries – will be sworn in as new cabinet ministers at the Raj Bhavan on Friday morning.
Earlier on Thursday, Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma told reporters that there will be a minor reshuffling of his Cabinet on Friday.
“You will have one new minister tomorrow,” he said. Sources said that only Celestine Lyngdoh will be sworn in on Friday as Coming One Ymbon is still hospitalized in New Delhi.
When asked, Dr. Sangma said, “It is a question of creating new space for some of our colleagues and at the same time friends who have been in the Cabinet will then be available for the party to further work for the party because this is how democracy works.”
It may be mentioned here that rumours over a Cabinet reshuffle surfaced after Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma and Meghalaya PCC president, Dr. D.D. Lapang returned to the state after discussing the political situation and party’s preparedness for the upcoming Assembly election with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.
The visit of Dr. Sangma and Dr. Lapang to New Delhi was also after there were reports about the move of some legislators and ministers to leave the Congress and contest the upcoming Assembly poll from another party.
Earlier, reports suggested that senior Congress leader and minister, Prestone Tynsong along with his fellow minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar would leave the Congress and was likely to join the National People’s Party (NPP).
While Tynsong has been viewed as “trouble maker” in the party who frequently engineered the move to topple Dr Sangma from the Chair of Chief Minister in the past when a section of Congress legislators demanded for change of leadership, Dhar is also facing a rebellion from the Jowai Block Congress Committee, where he was accused of working against senior Congress leader and Deputy Chief Minister, Roytre Christopher Laloo.
The block Congress had sought for Dhar’s removal from the Cabinet alleging him of indulging in anti-party activities for projecting his own brother-in-law to contest against Laloo from Jowai Constituency.