NPP chief Conrad Sangma claims invitation from Governor to form government in Meghalaya, swearing-in to be held tomorrow

Despite receiving a fractured mandate, Meghalaya will see a coalition government taking oath on Tuesday under the leadership of Conrad Sangma. The National People's Party (NPP) president claimed on Monday that he has been invited by the Governor of Meghalaya to form the new government. The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, he added.

It was reported on Sunday that the NPP was set to form the government with the support of three regional parties — United Democratic Party, People's Democratic Front and Hill State People's Democratic Party — the BJP and one Independent MLA. Conrad, the lone NPP Lok Sabha member from Tura constituency, will be sworn in as the chief minister.

Outgoing chief minister Mukul Sangma, who had submitted his resignation letter to Governor Ganga Prasad had been asked to continue in the office till the formation of new government.

"We have submitted a letter of support of 34 legislators to Governor Ganga Prasad and staked claimed to form the new government," Sangma had told journalists as he emerged from the Raj Bhavan.

He said that the 34 legislators include 19 from NPP, six from UDP, four from PDF, two each from HSPDP and BJP, besides one Independent MLA Samuel Sangma.

File image of Conrad Sangma. Image courtesy: Team101 Reporters

File image of Conrad Sangma. Image courtesy: Team101 Reporters

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

"NPP has agreed to the condition of the three regional parties and I will be the chief minister," Conrad said.

The ruling Congress, which emerged as the single largest party winning 21 seats in the Assembly elections, could not stitch a post-poll alliance with the regional parties to retain power in Meghalaya.

Meghalaya is the second state, after Manipur and Goa, where the Congress has not been able to forge a post-poll alliance with any of the regional parties despite emerging as the largest single party.

Earlier, Congress had made all attempts to convince the regional parties to support it in government formation, even as outgoing chief minister Mukul Sangma came with a proposal of sharing power — two-and-half years each — with UDP, one of the main regional parties in the state.

"He (Mukul Sangma) came and met me seeking our support to form the government with a proposal of sharing power for two and half years each," UDP chief Dr Donkupar Roy said.

Roy, however, said that his party did not approve the idea of working with Congress for the sake of stability.

Meanwhile, the newly elected members of Congress have elected outgoing chief minister Mukul Sangma as the legislature party leader.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Mar 05, 2018 14:21 PM

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