Meghalaya: MDA decides cabinet berths, NPP gets most | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Meghalaya: MDA decides cabinet berths, NPP gets most

By, Guwahati
Mar 07, 2023 01:14 AM IST

The National People’s Party (NPP)-led coalition in Meghalaya on Monday agreed that cabinet berths will be shared among various alliance partners in the northeastern state, which gave a fractured verdict in the recently concluded assembly elections.

The National People’s Party (NPP)-led coalition in Meghalaya on Monday agreed that cabinet berths will be shared among various alliance partners in the northeastern state, which gave a fractured verdict in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Meghalaya Assembly Pro-tem Speaker Timothy D Shira administers the oath of office to NPP chief Conrad Sangma as the MLA of the State Assembly during the swearing-in ceremony, in Shillong on Monday. (ANI)
Meghalaya Assembly Pro-tem Speaker Timothy D Shira administers the oath of office to NPP chief Conrad Sangma as the MLA of the State Assembly during the swearing-in ceremony, in Shillong on Monday. (ANI)

On Monday, the newly elected legislators took oath in the legislative assembly, with pro-tem speaker Timothy D Shira administering the oath of office and secrecy to them. The swearing-in of NPP president Conrad Sangma as Meghalaya chief minister for the second consecutive term along with his cabinet will take place on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah are likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony at the Raj Bhavan in Shillong.

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“We had the first meeting of our partners and the first decision that was taken is to call this alliance the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance 2.0,” Sangma told reporters in Shillong. “It was unanimously agreed as partners are the same as last time.”

At the meeting, it was decided that the chief minister will be the chairman of the new alliance, he added.

Besides the NPP that has 26 legislators, the new alliance also comprised the United Democratic Party (UDP) with 11 MLAs, the Bharatiya Janata Party (two), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (two), Peoples Democratic Front (two) and two Independents, taking the total strength to 45 MLAs in the 60-member assembly.

“We have also decided that in the cabinet out of the 12 members, eight berths will go to the NPP, two to UDP, one to Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP) and one to the BJP,” Sangma said. “Of the 12 (cabinet berths), four including the chief minister will be from the Garo Hills region while the rest eight from Khasi and Jaintia Hills regions.”

He, however, added that the PDF will not be included in the state cabinet.

Sangma said a decision on the name of the next speaker was proposed at a separate NPP meeting. The new Speaker will be elected on March 9. He said the name will be discussed with coalition partners before taking a final decision.

“Once the swearing-in (of the cabinet) is over, we will sit down with all partners and decide on the nitty gritty of the common minimum programme, formation of a coordination committee and other aspects will all be taken up,” said Sangma.

A day after the second-largest party in the state, the UDP, extended its support to the Sangma’s NPP having unsuccessfully tried to form a united opposition front, party chief Metbah Lyngdoh said the decision was taken for the sake of stability of the new government.

“The mandate given by the people is such that they wanted UDP, which got the second highest number of seats, to lead the government. We made an attempt, but the numbers were not enough. So we decided to support the NPP,” Lyngdoh told reporters in Shillong.

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