Congress, two short of majority, gets backing of 8 independents & 2 NCP MLAs

Mukul Sangma was unanimously re-elected Meghalaya Congress Legislature Party leader on Friday as the party is all set to form the next government with the support of eight independents and two Nationalist Congress Party MLAs. Dr. Sangma is likely to be sworn in as Chief Minister for the second consecutive term on Tuesday.

In the just-concluded Assembly elections, the Congress won 29 seats, two short of the majority in a House of 60. Eight of the 13 independents who won have pledged “unconditional support” to the Congress in forming the government.

The two NCP legislators have also sent in their letters of support, according to Congress sources.

The former Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee chief D.D. Lapang proposed Dr. Sangma’s name at the MLAs’ meeting in Shillong. Another former Chief Minister, Salseng C. Marak, seconded the proposal.

Later, Dr. Sangma called on Governor R.S. Mooshahary to stake claim for forming a new government.

Congress insiders said the high command’s nod for re-election of Dr. Sangma came after the party posted impressive wins in the Garo Hills region, considered a stronghold of the former Lok Sabha Speaker, P.A. Sangma.

The Congress has won 13 of the 24 seats in Garo Hills districts, while the National People’s Party led by Mr. P.A. Sangma managed only two. In 2008, the Congress won seven seats in the Garo Hills, while the NCP, under Mr. P.A. Sangma, won 15 seats in the State including 12 in the Garo Hills.