Conrad stakes claim for second CM term | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Conrad stakes claim for second CM term

Mar 04, 2023 01:46 AM IST

“We have an absolute majority. The BJP has already extended its support. Some others have also given their support,” National People’s Party (NPP) chief Conrad Sangma said in a press conference.

National People’s Party (NPP) chief Conrad Sangma on Friday met governor Phagu Chauhan and formally staked claim to form the next government of Meghalaya, submitting a letter of support signed by 32 lawmakers — one more than the majority mark in the 60-member assembly.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma submitted his resignation to Governor Phagu Chauhan and stake a claim to form government, in Shillong. (ANI arranged)
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma submitted his resignation to Governor Phagu Chauhan and stake a claim to form government, in Shillong. (ANI arranged)

Sangma told reporters in Shillong that he commanded the support of 26 legislators from the NPP, two from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), two from the Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP), and two independents.

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ALSO READ: Conrad Sangma - From defeat to a possible 2nd term as Meghalaya CM

“We have an absolute majority. The BJP has already extended its support. Some others have also given their support,” he said in a press conference.

The development came even as opposition parties met separately in Shillong, holding out hope that they would be able to cobble together an alliance and reach the majority mark.

Sangma, who became the first non-Congress chief minister in the state to complete a five-year term, is expected to take oath of office on March 7, said deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong.

The ceremony in Shillong is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, said Conrad.

In the assembly election results announced on Thursday, the NPP emerged as the single largest party with 26 seats, followed by the United Democratic Party (UDP) with 11. The Congress and the Trinamool Congress bagged five seats each. The BJP, HSPDP, Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF) and Independents bagged two seats each.

The newly formed Voice of People Party (VPP) won four seats and voting was not held in one seat due to the death of a candidate.

The NPP, BJP and UDP were all in alliance in the previous term but fought the elections separately. Hours after the NPP’s unexpectedly strong showing on Thursday, Sangma spoke to Shah and the BJP extended support to the regional party.

Friday began with Sangma going to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation as CM and also formally stake claim to form the next government. He was accompanied by lawmakers from the NPP, BJP, and an independent MLA.

“We have asked the governor to invite NPP, which is the single largest party, to form the government. We have been extended support by several MLAs including the two from BJP and the Independent MLA from Baghmara,” Sangma said.

“We will sit with the other parties who have extended support and discuss with them before taking any decision. I don’t want to give all details now. Just wait and watch,” he added.

Later in the day, in an interview with PTI, Sangma said that the focus of his new government will be on sectors such as farming, tourism, infrastructure and health, adding that he wanted to “do things differently” this time.

Meanwhile, in Shillong, newly elected lawmakers from the Congress, TMC, UDP, PDF and VPP met and discussed the possibility of an alliance. The opposition formation has 27 lawmakers in all — four short of the majority.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya Election Results: CM Conrad Sangma wins South Tura

The meeting took place at the residence of UDP leader Lahkmen Rymbui who was the home minister in the previous NPP-led government, which both the HSPDP and UDP were a part of. There’s no indication yet on whether the UDP will be part of the new government.

“The people of the state have spoken loud and clear. It is a fractured mandate for change. It is the responsibility of all political parties except the one that was at the helm of government to understand their responsibility of protecting interest of the state and come together,” former chief minister and TMC leader Mukul Sangma told journalists after the meeting.

“We need to join hands and ensure that the state is not subordinated to misrule again and get the dubious tag of being the most corrupt state in the country,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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