Conrad Sangma set to take the charge of Meghalaya

Conrad Sangma set to take the charge of Meghalaya

Shillong, March 4 (IANS) The NPP is all set to form a non-Congress government in Meghalaya with the support of three regional parties, the BJP and one Independent MLA. Conrad Sangma, the lone NPP Lok Sabha member from Tura constituency, will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 6.

Outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who had submitted his resignation letter to Governor Ganga Prasad has 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," Conrad Sangma told journalists as he emerged from Raj Bhavan.

He said the 34 legislators include 19 from National People's Party (NPP), six from United Democratic Party (UDP), four from People's Democratic Front (PDF), two each from Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), besides one Independent MLA Samuel Sangma.

The regional parties -- UDP, HSPDP and PDF -- extended support to the NPP on the condition that Conrad Sangma, the youngest son of former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma, would be the Chief Minister.

"NPP have agreed to the condition of the three regional parties and I (Conrad Sangma) will be the Chief Minister," he said.

He said the non-Congress parties will now only wait for the invitation of the Governor to install the new government.

The ruling Congress, which emerged as the single largest party winning 21 seats in the assembly elections, could not stitch a post-polls 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-polls alliance with any of the regional parties despite emerging as the largest single party.

But the designated Chief Minister said: "It is not about the single largest but it is about the group who has the majority. It is clear that we have the majority by getting the support of the 34 MLAs. Therefore, we have come and staked our claim to form the government."

Earlier in the day, the Congress made all attempts to convince the regional parties to support the Congress in government formation, even as the outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma came with a proposal of sharing power -- two-and-half years each -- with the UDP, the main regional party in the state.

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

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

Meanwhile, the newly elected member of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) have elected the outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma as their CLP leader.

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