Mukul Sangma sworn in Meghalaya CM
Mukul M Sangma was sworn in Tuesday afternoon as the fourth chief minister of Meghalaya since the Assembly election in March 2008. On the list of CMs since Meghalaya's statehood in 1972, he was the 11th.india Updated: Apr 20, 2010 23:43 IST
Mukul M Sangma was sworn in Tuesday afternoon as the fourth chief minister of Meghalaya since the Assembly election in March 2008. On the list of CMs since Meghalaya's statehood in 1972, he was the 11th.
The day also happened to be Sangma’s 45th birthday.
Governor RS Mooshahary also administered oath of office to Bindo Lanong, JA Lyngdoh and Abu Taher Mondal in State capital Shillong. The first two belong to the United Democratic Party (UDP) while the third is an Independent.
The 10-legislator UDP is the largest ally of the Congress, which has 28 MLAs in the 60-member House. There’s a question mark over the other allies in the Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government that Sangma’s predecessor DD Lapang headed.
Lapang had to make way for Sangma following dissension in the Congress over the composition of the alliance. The dissenters who backed Sangma – hitherto a Lapang loyalist – wanted some of the allies out of the MUA.
Together, the Congress and UDP make up a comfortable number. With Mondal having been sworn in, the other two Independents in MUA are expected to be ‘sacrificed’. Lesser regional ally Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (two MLAs) is likely to be kept out of the ministry.
Though the lone Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement legislator, Paul Lyngdoh is on the chopping block, party insiders said he could be retained by virtue of being Union minister Vincent Pala’s son-in-law.
Sangma, after the swearing-in, did not give any indication about the fate of his allies. He also put the ball in the High Command’s court vis-à-vis composition of his Cabinet that can have a maximum of 12 ministers. “You will get to know very soon,” he said.
The remaining eight ministers are to be sworn in by Friday.
Sangma also said the focus of his government would be on ensuring stability and cohesion within the party. “Running the State with the minimum of fuss for the rest of this term would be our goal,” he added.
Lapang, at the receiving end of the toppling game that saw him become Meghalaya’s chief minister thrice out of five brief stints, wished protégé Sangma good luck. “This government can be assured of my cooperation,” he said.