Shillong, Dec 11 (IANS) Five-time former Meghalaya Chief Minister Donwa Dethwelson Lapang, who had quit the Congress, on Monday joined the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) after his appointment as Chief Advisor to the nine-month-old Conrad Sangma-led government.
Lapang joining the tribal-centric NPP was a major blow to the Congress in the northeastern state as it came ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Lapang joining NPP has added tremendous value to the party. His experience, wisdom and knowledge will guide the party to grow further as we propagate the agenda of raising the concerns of the people of Meghalaya and Northeast,” Sangma said.
Accusing the Congress party of neglecting senior party leaders, the Chief Minister said: “It pains me to see that Congress party has adopted a policy of use and throw. I really wonder if they can use and throw Lapang, what they can do to the common citizen of Meghalaya and their party members.”
Claiming that people across India are rejecting the Congress for its partisan politics, Sangma, who is also the NPP national president said: “In NPP, we respect our seniors, we respect our elders, and a person of the stature of Lapang will be an inspiration for everyone in NPP.”
Lapang had quit the Congress – with which he was associated for over four decades – on September 14, saying it had embarked on a policy of phasing out senior and elderly people.
“I am opening a new chapter in my career. I have been in politics for 50 long years and have been serving this constituency (Nongpoh) for 40 years and also in different capacities.
“Today, I could see that with changing of time we have to also update ourselves and I find it fit that in my last political journey, I should associate myself with a party that is workable and is acceptable by the people of Meghalaya,” he said.