Former four-time Meghalaya chief minister DD Lapang on Monday joined the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) after he resigned from Congress in September.
Lapang had quit the Congress party on September 14. The 84-year-old Lapang said that he is beginning a new chapter in his political career by joining the NPP.
“I am opening a new chapter in my career. I have been in politics for 50 years and have been serving in 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 associated myself with a party that is workable and is acceptable to the people of Meghalaya,” he said.
Lapang termed Late Purno Agitok Sangma, the founder of NPP as a ‘giant’ in politics and his four children, of which three are in politics as strong branches, who are committed to take the aspirations of the people forward.
“Conrad Sangma is son of a great national leader PA Sangma and we see Meghalaya in safe hands under his leadership,” he added.
Praising late PA Sangma for his contributions to the nation, he said, “He was a man with a vision, mission and determination. His achievements in politics will be written in gold letters and his footprints will always be remembered”.
The NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government had already appointed Lapang as the chief adviser of Meghalaya government before he formally joined the party.
The ruling MDA in Meghalaya comprises of NPP, United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), People’s Democratic Front (PDF), NCP and the BJP.
It was in 1972 Lapang became MLA from Nongpoh as an independent candidate. He served as the chief minister of Meghalaya in 1992, 2003, 2007 and finally he was sworn in as CM in 2009.
Welcoming DD Lapang in the party, chief minister Conrad Sangma said, “Sir 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 the Northeast.”
Expressing his concerns for Lapang who was sidelined by the Congress party, Sangma, who is also the national president of NPP said, “I am pained to see the kind of treatment that was meted out to Sir Lapang by certain political party. He has dedicated his service for the people of Meghalaya and the Congress party for over five decades but the Congress party did not appreciate even one per cent for his contribution”.
Terming the Congress party for neglecting senior party leaders, Conrad said, “Congress party has adopted a policy of use and throw. I really wonder if they can use and throw Sir Lapang, what they can do to the common citizen of Meghalaya and their party members.”
Informing the gathering that people across the country is rejecting Congress for its partisan politics, the CM said, “In NPP we respect our seniors, we respect our elders and a person of the stature of Sir Lapang will be an inspiration for all the ranks and files in NPP.”