New Delhi: National People’s Party (NPP)-led alliance of three other regional parties along with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form the government in Meghalaya, which threw up a hung verdict in the hill state on Saturday.
On Sunday evening, NPP leader Conrad Sangma met Meghalaya governor Ganga Prasad and staked claim to form the government with the support of 34 MLAs, above the half way mark in the 60-member legislative assembly. With this, the rule of chief minister Mukul Sangma-led Congress government will come to an end.
The formation of government in Meghalaya will also mark BJP rule in six of the seven northeastern states ever since it was voted to power at the centre in 2014. It is currently in power in Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and is going to form governments in Tripura, Nagaland and perhaps Meghalaya. The only exception to the list is Mizoram, which is currently governed by the Congress.
Meanwhile, Sangma submitted a letter of support from 34 MLAs, including 19 from 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 the BJP, and an independent.
“It is not an easy task. But the parties who are supporting us are committed to work for the welfare of the people and the state. We will work on a common agenda,” Sangma told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan in Shillong on Sunday, when asked about the challenges of forming a coalition government, reported PTI.
On Saturday, a delegation of three Congress leaders—Kamal Nath, Ahmed Patel and C.P. Joshi—had also staked claim to form the government in a meeting with the governor, but the party is unlikely to cobble up the numbers. Congress has reduced its tally by eight seats compared to the 2013 assembly elections.
NPP’s rise in the state has been impressive as it raised its tally to 19 seats from just two in the previous elections. The regional party was formed by former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma in 2013 after he parted ways with Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party. After P.A. Sangma’s death in 2016, his son Conrad Sangma took over. Conrad Sangma is currently a Lok Sabha member from Tura seat in Meghalaya.