Meghalaya now has four 'CMs'

Meghalaya now has four 'CMs'

The Congress-led government has this peculiar arrangement after the rank and status of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president Lyngdoh was elevated to that of chief minister on Thursday, apparently to douse a simmering discontent within the main party in the coalition.

Lyngdoh earlier enjoyed the rank and status of a deputy chief minister. Veteran Congress leader D D Lapang had assumed office as chief minister on May 13 last.

With the elevation of Lyngdoh’s status, the ruling alliance now has three leaders, apart from Lapang, who enjoyed the status of chief minister. The others are the two leaders of the United Democratic Party – State Planning Board chairman Donkupar Roy and Meghalaya Economic Development Council chairman J D Rymbai.

Government sources said on Sunday all the three, besides Lapang, now enjoy the pay, perks and other facilities as that of a chief minister. However, except for Lapang the others do not have any constitutional power. An official notification said, “The rank and status of Lyngdoh has been upgraded from that of deputy chief minister to that of chief minister. He shall continue to function as political advisor to the Chief Minister.”

Opposition BJP dubbed the new arrangement as a “constitutional absurdity” while Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said constitutionally it is not impermissible to give somebody the rank of a chief minister or the rank of a minister.

With toppling games and splits a frequent occurence the state has seen 21 governments in its 38- year history. Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said the party will look into the issue.

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