PHE minister and HSPDP MLA, Samlin Malngiang clarifies on seat-sharing Credit: EastMojo

Shillong: Amid reports of a Cabinet reshuffle in the state, PHE Minister and Hills State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) MLA, Samlin Malngiang clarified that there wouldn’t be a reshuffling of cabinet berths within the HSPDP MLAs.

Malngiang said that the matter between him and his colleague would be discussed internally within the party.

Mawkyrwat MLA Renikton Tongkhar’s had claimed that there was an agreement to share the cabinet berth.

When asked if there was any such agreement, Malngiang informed that there no formal agreement in the party. “After the swearing-in ceremony Renikton had approached me and had made a verbal request also to give him a chance to perform as a minister, but there was no formal agreement,” said Malngiang.

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Malngiang admitted that Renikton had approached him recently regarding the issue, “Yes he did approach me stating that since the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) has completed two-and-half years, you should now give me a chance. I have told him to wait for a few months for me to complete pending work.”

When asked if these issues would create differences within the party, he said that these are minute issues and can be resolved.

“If the party decides and our president writes to the chief minister that we need to change the minister, I will abide by the party. But like I said, I should be given a few months to complete my work. And if Renikton is a man of principles, then he would agree to give me some time,” said Malngiang.

“Incidentally, the former party president had resigned hours before I was sworn in as minister. We did not have any agreement on seat sharing since the party was without a president. We later elected an adhoc president,” Malngiang said.

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Party president, K Plasting Pangngiang had made a statement saying that the Cabinet berth will be shared between the two MLAs of the party, Malngiang refused to comment on this assurance.

“It took me a year or so how to understand and work things out. It is not an easy task to handle a department, and if there is a reshuffle, it will cause a delay in the ongoing work. Though I am sure the person replacing me will be able to serve the people of the state better,” said Malngiang.

Meanwhile, HSPDP MLA Renikton said that he is ready to take up the responsibility as the Minister once Malngiang vacates the chair.

“This is not a new issue. There was an agreement that I should be given an opportunity to become a Minister after the MDA Government completes two and half years,” said Renikton.

“I hope that my relationship with my fellow party MLA will not be affected if the party decides that he should pave the way for me to become a Minister. I don’t have any aspiration to head any department. I would be happy even if chief minister, Conrad K Sangma allows me to hold the same portfolios which are headed by Malngiang,” Renikton said.

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