NPP's Conrad Sangma takes oath as Chief Minister of Meghalaya after Saturday's fractured mandate

Meghalaya's first non-Congress government in 15 years took the oath of office on Tuesday, with Conrad Sangma taking charge as chief minister, following an Assembly election that threw up a fractured mandate.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah were in attendance at the ceremony in Shillong on Tuesday.

Earlier, with support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly, National People's Party (NPP) chief Conrad Sangma met Governor Ganga Prasad in Shillong on Sunday to stake his claim to form the next government in the state.

File image of NPP leader Conrad Sangma. Twitter @sangmaconrad

File image of NPP leader Conrad Sangma. Twitter @sangmaconrad

"We met the governor and submitted a letter of support from 34 MLAs: Two of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), 19 from the NPP, six of the United Democratic Party (UDP), four of the People's Democratic Front (PDF), two from the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP), and one Independent," Sangma had said.

The regional parties — UDP, HSPDP and PDF — had extended their support to NPP on the condition that Conrad, the youngest son of former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma, would be chief minister.

Conrad, who is a non-elected member in the 60-member Assembly, was be administered oath of office and secrecy along with his Council of Ministers. He now serves the state's 12th chief minister.

The HSPDP, however, had objected to Conrad Sangma as the next chief minister. "A pre-poll alliance was forged between the UDP and HSPDP, but they (the UDP) did not consult us when they proposed the name of Conrad Sangma to be chief minister," a party official had said.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party with 21 seats in the elections, could not stitch a post-poll alliance with the regional parties to retain power. Meghalaya is the second state, after Manipur and Goa, where the Congress has not been able to forge a post-poll alliance to form a government despite emerging as the largest single party.

With inputs from agencies

Published Date: Mar 06, 2018 11:46 AM | Updated Date: Mar 09, 2018 18:15 PM

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