National

Conrad Sangma-Led NPP To Form 'Secular Non-Congress Government' In Meghalaya

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| March 5 , 2018 , 08:19 IST

Despite the Congress staking claims to form the government in Meghalaya as the single largest party on Saturday night with 21 seats, the National People’s Party-led alliance will be forming the government in the state, with Conrad Sangma as the Chief Minister.

The National People's Party (NPP) which won 19 seats in the polls, is seeking to form a “secular non-Congress government” partnered by the BJP with 2 seats, United Democratic Party (UDP) with 6 seats and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) with 2 seats.

Following night-long negotiations, the NPP and BJP managed to secure the alliance of 3 regional parties and an independent, as the BJP leadership had made it clear to leave no stone unturned in stalling the Congress, which has formed the government in Meghalaya since 2009.

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After the NPP struck a deal with supporting parties regarding the alliance, Conrad, along with BJP strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma and all supporting MLAs met with governor Ganga Prasad to stake claim to form the new government with the support of 34 legislators.

Soon after the Meghalaya Governor invited the NPP and its allies to form the government, Congress claimed that the mandate had been given in its favour.

"We don't have pre-poll alliance with anybody. Right from the time of campaigning, we knew that BJP, NPP and UDP were together and it has been proved now. Mandate was actually given to Congress," said Congress working president in Meghalaya Vincent Pala.

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"We accept verdict of the people. We will keep fighting for the issues of people of Meghalaya. It's easy to stake claim, since there is a fractured mandate it is easy to form government but difficult to govern. We will play a constructive role in whatever position we will be in," Pala added.

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge emphasised that opportunity should be given to the single largest party.

"Opportunity must be given to single largest party. If it can't prove majority, then party at second position could be invited. They don't want democracy and want to create an environment of fear. It won't go on for long, people will understand this gradually," Kharge said.

"Our leaders had worked hard in Meghalaya and secured more seats than them. BJP had won only two seats. They converted that two to 30. They broke off our party supporters and took them with them. Governor shouldn't agree to this, they can't be the single largest party," he added.