The ruling Congress in Meghalaya has suffered another jolt with state party president and four-time chief minister D D Lapang deciding to opt out of assembly poll race, due early next year. His announcement came a month after two senior leaders holding cabinet berths - deputy chief minister Roytre C Laloo and Roshan Warjri - expressed similar intentions. The 85-year-old veteran leader met All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi yesterday to inform her about his decision. "She wished me well and said I should continue to keep the party united and share my experience and advisories with the workers and leaders," Lapang said in a statement. The former CM also exchanged greetings with Meghalaya party in-charge C P Joshi during a meeting called to discuss the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president. He had informed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma about his decision prior to his meeting with Sonia Gandhi yesterday. Lapang had won the Nongpoh seat in the 1972 assembly elections as an Independent candidate.
He later joined the Congress and was elected chief minister in 1992, 2003, 2007 and 2009. However, he never completed his tenure as the chief minister.
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