New Delhi: The possibility of installation of a Congress-NCP ministry in Meghalaya, which is currently under President’s rule following dismissal of the MPA government, brightened on Friday with both parties finalising modalities to provide a stable government.
“We have made some breakthrough. We have accepted NCP’s offer to join hands. We are finalising the modalities,” Congress leader and former deputy chief minister Mukul Sangma said here.
Meghalaya was brought under President’s Rule on 19 March last in view of the fluid political situation, dismissing the Donkupar Roy-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government.
The 60-member Assembly, where Congress has 26 MLAs and NCP 14, has been kept under suspended animation since then.
Sangma said the idea behind Congress and NCP joining hands was to provide a “stable government” in the interest of the people of the state.
With the chances of installation of a government, likely to be headed by veteran Congress leader D D Lapang, Union cabinet may take a view of the situation and recommend lifting of the President’s Rule.
NCP leader P A Sangma and Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Luizinho Faleiro have held several rounds of meetings in the national capital during the last few days to sort out their differences, sources said.
Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and Faleiro, a former Goa chief minister, also held meetings with Lapang and several other state leaders, who are now camping in Delhi.
As per the arrangement, Congress will get the posts of chief minister and assembly speaker and NCP will get deputy chief ministership.
Meghalaya was placed under President’s Rule on 19 March even after the then NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government survived a trust vote on the floor of the state assembly through a controversial decision by Speaker.
Speaker B M Lanong cast his vote when there was a 27:27 tie in the 60-member House during division.
The tie-breaker came after the Speaker declared invalid the votes cast by four of the five members he suspended hours before the trial of strength on 17 March. The action brought down the Congress tally, which had gone up to 31, to 27.
The Donkupar Roy-led government was reduced to a minority on 9 March following withdrawal of support to the MPA by two independent MLAs Limison Sangma and Ismail R Marak.
The crisis was heightened on 11 March when the lone MLA from Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) Paul Lyngdoh, who was also urban affairs minister, resigned.
On 12 March, health minister and Hill State People’s Democratic Party MLA Advisor Pariong also quit, making the prevailing political situation further fluid.