Meghalaya 2018

Congress outsmarted in Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma to be sworn in on March 6

Conrad Sangma hands the letter of support from 34 MLAs to Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A number of regional parties with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outsmarted the Congress, which has emerged as the single largest party in recently concluded polls in the race for government formation in Meghalaya.

After a day of frantic political activity in the State, the National People’s Party (NPP) led by its leader Conrad Sangma staked claim to form the government in the hill state. Mr. Sangma on Sunday evening paraded 34 MLAs before Governor Ganga Prasad.

“We have given a letter of support of 34 MLAs to the Governor. We think this is what stability is all about,” Mr. Sangma who is also Lok Sabha MP from Tura told journalists outside Meghalaya Raj Bhawan.

The Governor extended Mr. Sangma an invite to form the government. He will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya on March 6.

Till Sunday afternoon, the coalition was claiming the support of 29 MLAs but the numbers grew by the evening. NPP, with its 19 MLAs, claimed support of six MLAs of the United Democratic Front (UDF) as well as two from the Hill State Socialist Democratic Party ( HSPDP) and two BJP legislators.

At Meghalaya Raj Bhawan, four MLAs of the newly formed People Democratic Front (PDF) and one independent also joined the non-Congress coalition led by NPP.

Senior BJP leader Himata Biswa Sarma, who played a crucial role in bringing together the regional parties said that BJP will be part of the government in Meghalaya. “With a government of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Meghalaya the BJP-NDA will be in power in seven out of eight states,” Mr Sarma said.

He said that both NPP and UDP are a part of BJP led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and Congress party had humiliated its senior leaders by sending them to Meghalaya when the mandate was against the party.

In an indication of defeat, three senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Kamal Nath and Mukul Wasnik left Shillong in the afternoon. Earlier in the day, Congress also tried to convince the UDP to come together and “share the government” in Meghalaya. Mukul Sangma, who led the Congress government in the State for the past five years, also reached out to UDP party president Donkupar Roy. It was Mr. Roy’s UDP, whose support turned out to be crucial in tilting the balance for the NPP led coalition.

“We have supported a non-Congress government for the sake of stability,” Mr. Roy, also a former Chief Minister of the State, said after meeting several BJP leaders, including Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju and K.J. Alphons.

The UDP had put a condition that the NPP led government should be led by P.A. Sangma’s son Conrad Sangma, who has also served as Deputy Chief Minister of the State in the past.

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Printable version | Sep 13, 2021 12:47:33 PM |

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