Guwahati: In what may be called a major setback for the Congress party in the northeast, veteran leader and four-time Meghalaya chief minister D D Lapang on Friday resigned from the party.
Accusing the party leadership of sidelining him, veteran Congress leader in his resignation letter sent to Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, “Lately the AICC has been embarking upon a policy of phasing out senior and elderly people. In my opinion it means the service and contribution of the senior and elderly people is no longer useful to the party.”
“This restriction made me frustrated and compelled me to be no longer comfortable to be in the party,” 84-year old leader Lapang said in his resignation letter.
Lapang was removed as the party’s Meghalaya unit chief in December. He had also refused to contest the assembly elections and campaign for the party in February this year.
Lapang first became chief minister in 1992. He was again sworn in as chief minister in 2003, 2007 and 2009.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Meghalaya, Luizinho Faleirio, told reporters that he had not met Lapang in the last three years. Faleirio said that he could not meet Lapang during his recent visit to Shillong for revamping the party.
Lapang, after demitting the office of party chief last year, continued to hold the position of an adviser to the party.
The MPCC president Celestine Lyngdoh however expressed surprise over Lapang's decision to quit the party. “We'll try and find out and, if possible, sort out things at the earliest,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources in the Congress party said that central party leaders have been trying to rope in Lapang to persuade him to take back his resignation.