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NPP chief Conrad Sangma meets Meghalaya guv stakes claim to form govt

SNS | New Delhi |

National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad K Sangma met the Governor Ganga Prasad on Sunday to stake claim to form a coalition government along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and regional parties in Meghalaya.

The coalition — Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) –comprises the NPP, the United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa took to Twitter saying, “Happy to share that 34 newly-elected members belonging to NPP, UDP, PDF, HSPDP, @BJP4India and one independent member are meeting Hon Governor to stake claim to form government in #Meghalya. Sri Conrad Sangma will be the leader of this coalition”.

As per media reports, BJP has said that Conrad Sangma will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on 6 March.

While talking to media, UDP president and RDA chairman Donkupar Roy said that his party has agreed to lend support to the NPP, which secured 19 seats in the Assembly polls, on the condition that Conrad Sangma will be the chief minister once the NPP-led alliance forms the government.

“Conrad Sangma has agreed to the condition and we will form a stable government. The BJP will be a part of the government here,” said Roy.

The alliance has the support of 29 MLAs — 19 of the NPP, six of the UDP, two of the HSPDP and BJP’s two, he said.

The UDP chief Roy said that Mukul Sangma also met him and offered him the Chief Minister’s post on a two-and-a-half years sharing basis between his party and the Congress.

“We have rejected this proposal and decided to form a non-Congress government instead,” he said.

Congress stakes claim

Earlier, Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Kamal Nath met Governor Ganga Prasad requesting him to invite the Congress to form the new government in Meghalaya.

“We have already met the governor and handed him a letter to request him to invite the Congress being the single largest party,” said Nath.

The Congress which emerged as the single largest party winning 21 assembly seats is short of ten seats to get an absolute majority in the 60 member assembly.

Fractured mandate

Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate on Saturday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the NPP, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.

The Congress bagged 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly, eight less than the last elections.

The BJP, which drew a blank in the last elections, got two seats. The UDP won six seats while its alliance partner the HSPDP won two seats.

The People’s Democratic Front (PDF) bagged four seats, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) and three Independents got one seat each.

Polling for the 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly in Meghalaya was held on February 27. A Nationalist Congress Party candidate was killed in an IED blast, which resulted in countermanding of polls in one seat.

Outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had contested and won the elections from two seats.

(With agency inputs)