Former Meghalaya chief minister D D Lapang accepted the decision of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government to appoint him as chief adviser to the government and revealed that leaders of the MDA who met him after he quit the Congress had also approached him that he should play the role of ‘big uncle’ in the coalition government.
“I have decided to accept this assignment and I have not been able to meet the chief minister who is away from the state as well as the deputy chief minister and other leaders,” Lapang told reporters here on Friday.
He said that it was the wisdom of the MDA government that has appointed him to the post adding that his appointment does not indicate that he has joined any political party.
“The MDA government has five to six parties together and I have not joined any party. I thank the MDA government for giving this assignment and I would work together with the government,” he said.
The veteran politician also dismissed reports that he would float a new political party.
“Floating a new political party with my grey hair, it is only a wild dream,” Lapang said.
To a query, which party would he choose if he was asked to tick from among the parties that formed the MDA coalition, Lapang said, “I have not listed the parties nor taken the pencil to put a tick mark.”
The former chief minister of Meghalaya reiterated that he left the Congress because of the policy it has adopted to phase out senior and elderly people and slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for taking such a decision.
He said that AICC might have reasons and might consider elderly people a liability, but “the spirit of serving is in my blood and I have even served from my bed.”
Asked about the prospect of the Congress in Meghalaya and the country as a whole ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Lapang hit out at Rahul Gandhi saying he is not a Prime Minister material and not fit to lead the country as Prime Minister.
“I am not a fortune teller to predict things but Rahul Gandhi as a leader has failed on many counts. He lacks diplomacy, humility, maturity and putting such people in the helm of affairs, the country will reach nowhere,” Lapang said.
He also said that instead of Rahul Gandhi there are other capable people in the Congress and “it is time that the Congress thinks about fitness and put the right people.”
“The Congress is not in bright days ahead under Rahul’s leadership,” Lapang observed.
Asked if he would go back to the Congress if Rahul is removed, Lapang said that he had decided that he would not go back to the Congress as he had left the party after serving 45 years with a heavy heart due to wrong policy adopted by the AICC under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
Lapang however praised former AICC president, Sonia Gandhi and described her as a “mother”.
He said that he would also meet Sonia Gandhi when he got the chance to thank her for all the years of blessings she had showered upon him.
On the allegations of the Congress that he left the party because he wanted to be in power and monetary benefits, Lapang hit back saying, “If I am such a person, I would have left the Congress during those years when the party was not in power on many occasions. I worked for the party whether in power or outside power those years too. Therefore those who brought out such allegations let them see my track records. It is an irresponsible statement and I am afraid that the people who uttered like this must have themselves indulged in such things by trying to turn politics into business. If they questioned Lapang they have to question themselves ten times.”
Asked about the future of the BJP in the country ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the veteran politician said the BJP which is leading the NDA government won the highest number of seats in the last Lok Sabha elections.
“It is not BJP alone in the NDA government. The NDA tried to do the best. From the the fund allocation side, it looks promising, but with new people running the government, it is not an easy task as there are things which are not perfect.”