Conrad Sangma and MLAs with Meghalaya governor

The National People’s Party (NPP) is all set to form the next government in Meghalaya with the support of two legislators each from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and two Independents.

The halfway mark is 30 as elections were held in 59, out of the 60 seats, following the death of one of the contesting candidates.

Meghalaya chief minister and NPP president Conrad Sangma met governor Phagu Chauhan at the Raj Bhavan and staked a claim to form the next government on March 3.

He was accompanied by two BJP legislators, Alexander Laloo Hek and Sanbor Shullai, his party legislators and one independent.

Later in the evening, two HSPDP Shakliar Warjri and Methodius Dkhar, and Independent MLA from Rambrai Jyrngam assembly seat Remington Gabil Momin also submitted a letter of support to Sangma.

The NPP won 26 of the 59 assembly constituencies where elections were held, seven more than it bagged in 2018. The Meghalaya assembly has 60 seats.

Sangma was elected as the parliamentary party leader of the NPP and then he proceeded to the Raj Bhavan and first submitted his resignation as the chief minister. Thereafter, he staked a claim to form the government.

“The governor has invited us as the single largest party…so we will get all our MLAs, who are arriving from Garo Hills region and then get their signatures and formally hand it over to the governor,” Sangma said.

“I have received a letter of support from the BJP, HSPDP and two Independents. The number is over the halfway mark with a comfortable majority of 32. Several other parties are in touch with me and with our party leaders, but things will be clear after sometime,” the NPP supremo told UNI over the phone.

Conrad Sangma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah will be attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new government on March 7.

On the other hand, the United Democratic Party (UDP), which won 11 assembly seats tried to cobble up other non-NPP and non-NPP parties to form an alternate government with the support of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Congress party, Voice of the People Party (VPP), People’s Democratic Front (PDF), HSPDP and one independent.

However, the UDP’s plans to stake claim to form an alternate government subsequently failed after the two HSPDP legislators and the Independent shifted their allegiance to the NPP.

“They attended the meeting here (at the residence of UDP legislator Lahkmen Rymbui, but they told us that they are going out for lunch and did not turn up for the meeting,” a visibly dejected HSPDP president, KP Pangniang told UNI.

Meanwhile, Pangniang wrote a letter to the NPP president informing him that the HSPDP did not authorise its two legislators to lend support to the formation of the NPP government.

“The party has no role in this affair and therefore withdraw our support to your party. Kindly act immediately that the party withdraw support effectively from today,” the HSPDP noted in the letter.

On the other hand, Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Sangma said, the people have not given a clear mandate to any political party the TMC is confident of forming the government with other like-minded parties except the BJP and NPP.

“There is no decisive mandate for any political party. If you draw a conclusion for this mandate then this mandate is for a change…we know how to get the numbers,” Mukul said.

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