Meghalaya: Two more parties offer support to NPP as coalition tally touches 45
UDP, which is the second largest party with 11 seats and the PDF, which has two MLAs, also extended their support to Conrad taking the coalition’s tally to 45 legislators in the 60-member assembly
Two more parties, namely United Democratic Party (UDP) and Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF), have extended their support to the National Peoples’ Party-led (NPP) coalition government headed by Conrad Sangma in Meghalaya.
This development comes in wake of the state assembly elections announced last Thursday.
The NPP, which secured 26 seats in the 60-member assembly, earlier had support of two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, two legislators from Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP) and two independent MLAs—taking their tally to 32—one more than the 31 needed for majority.
On Sunday evening, UDP, which is the second largest party with 11 seats and the PDF, which has two MLAs, also extended their support to Conrad taking the coalition’s tally to 45 legislators.
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“Thank you UDP and PDF for coming forward to join the NPP to form the government. The strong support from homegrown political parties will further strengthen us to serve Meghalaya and its people,” Conrad posted on his official Twitter account.
“Congratulations for your party’s performance resulting in the resounding victory. In light of the peoples’ mandate, I on behalf of the parliamentary party of UDP do hereby extend support for government formation,” the letter to Conrad written by UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh read.
A similar letter was also written by PDF stating that they were extending support for stability of the government and to work in unity for prosperity of Meghalaya and its people.
Though UDP, which had bagged 6 seats in 2018, was part of the previous government headed by NPP, there was ambiguity over their joining the coalition this time around.
On Friday, UDP, PDF, Congress, Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Voice of People Party held a meeting in Shillong to try and forge a united front and prevent NPP from coming to power but it could not materialise.
There were also doubts about the two HSPDP MLAs despite their written support to Conrad, the party office bearers stated they had not been authorised and ‘withdrew support’ to NPP.
This was followed by protests by few local groups on Friday and Saturday, who burnt effigies and attacked offices of the two HSPDP MLAs who had offered support to Conrad, demanding they take it back.
“Our coalition has support of all MLAs that have assured the same to a government led by NPP. We are in a comfortable position. On the BJP’s part, we have requested Conrad Sangma to give cabinet berths to both our newly elected MLAs,” Meghalaya BJP president Ernest Mawrie said.
In the recently concluded election, NPP had secured 26 seats, followed by UDP with 11, Congress and TMC bagged five each, VPP 4, HSPDP, PDF and BJP and two seats going to independents.
Election in one seat had not taken place due to death of a candidate.
Meanwhile, officials in Shillong confirmed that a special session of the new assembly will be held on Monday where all the MLAs will be sworn in by pro tem Speaker Timothy D Shira of NPP.
Swearing in of the new chief minister and cabinet will take place on Tuesday and the same will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will participate in oath taking ceremony of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party-BJP alliance government in Nagaland which will be headed by Neiphiu Rio.