Monday, 05 March 2018 | PNS | New DelhiGuwahati-
A non-Congress Government led by the National People’s Party is likely to take oath in Meghalaya on Monday as the party cobbled up the required numbers to form a Government. NPP chief Conrad Sangma, who was elected as the leader of the alliance, met Governor Ganga Prasad to stake the claim for formation of a Government. The Governor has reportedly invited him to form the Government.
The Congress yet again, just as it did in Manipur and Goa, seemed to have lost out in the race to form the Government despite being the single largest party.
The NPP which has secured 19 seats on its own got the backing from six United Democratic Party (UDP) legislators, four Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF) legislators, two Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP) MLAs, two BJP MLAs and one Independent legislator — making the combined strength of the alliance to 34 in the 60-member House.
Sources in the NPP said that the party is likely to swear-in on Monday at a function in Raj Bhavan. While the alliance elected Conrad Sangma as the leader of the alliance, the name of his sister and former Lok Sabha MP, Agatha Sangma has also emerged as dark horse for the top post.
“The mandate in Meghalaya is against the Congress. The role of the BJP is just a facilitator. We are facilitating the regional parties in Meghalaya to unite and form a Government in the State to keep the Congress at bay,” said Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has been camping in the State since Saturday.
“It will be a Government of the regional political parties to be led by the NPP. The BJP has two legislators and our party has also decided to extend support to the NPP. We are there to facilitate and we are doing that to ensure that there is a non-Congress Government in Meghalaya,” said Sarma.
Despite winning 21 seats, the Congress failed to bring to its side the UDP, which is playing the kingmaker with six MLAs, and the 2-MLA-strong Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) – both throwing their weight with the NPP which has 19 MLAs.
With entering into an alliance with the NPP to rule Meghalaya, the BJP would thus be in power in six States of the Seven Sisters — Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur Assam, Arunachal Pradesh.
Former Congressmen and now one of BJP’s key strategists Sarma ensured he came up over the two Central leaders of the Congress, Kamal Nath and Ahmad Patel, whom their party had dispatched to the State to prevent a rerun of Manipur and Goa. But Meghalaya became the third State in less than a year for the Congress where its post-polls alliance management failed.
A pre-poll alliance between three local parties including UDP, HSPDP and Garo National Council (GNC) – form the bulk of ‘Others’. Their primary aim to dislodge the Mukul Sangma-led Congress Government in the State has served well the NPP-BJP.
While the NPP secured 19 seats in the polls, the ruling Congress could manage to secure only 21 seats. Regional political party UDP secured 6 seats followed by Peoples’ Democratic Party (4 seats), HSPDP (2 seats), BJP (2 seats), KHNAM one seat, NCP one seat and three Independents.
It may be mentioned here that outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who had been the State’s Chief Minister since 2010, had also met the Governor and said that his party be invited to form the next Government as it is the single largest party. Sangma, however, failed to produce the letters of support from any other party backing his claim.
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