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Kiren Rijiju meets UDP chief to discuss govt formation in Meghalaya

The Congress bagged 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly while National People’s Party (NPP) secured 19 seats.

Meghalaya Elections 2018 Updated: Mar 04, 2018 17:39 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Shillong
Meghalaya,Meghalaya polls,Kiren Rijiju
A placard with the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pictured near a rally of BJP supporters as they celebrate win in northeast elections, outside the party headquarters in New Delhi on March 3.(AFP Photo)

BJP leader Kiren Rijiju met United Democratic Party (UDP) president Donkupar Roy at his residence on Sunday to discuss the formation of a non-Congress government in Meghalaya, under the leadership of the National People’s Party (NPP), which secured the second position in the state assembly polls with 19 seats.

“We are not a big player here. We have come to express our support to the regional parties to form a non-Congress government,” Rijiju told PTI after coming out of Roy’s residence in Shillong.

Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate yesterday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the NPP, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.

The Congress bagged 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly, eight less than the last elections.

The BJP, which drew a blank in the last elections, got two seats. The UDP won six seats while its alliance partner the HSPDP won two seats. The People’s Democratic Front (PDF) bagged four seats, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) and three Independents got one seat each.

UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh said his party, too, has made it clear during the meeting that it favours a non-Congress government in the state.

“We will be discussing government formation with our alliance partners and members of the PDF and the KHNAM soon,” he said.

Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma had also met the UDP president earlier in the day to discuss alliance possibilities, he said.

“The UDP, which had led a regional alliance in 2008, still feels the pangs of betrayal by the Congress, which overthrew the coalition a year after to remain in power alone for a decade,” Mawtoh said.

The memories of 2009 are still fresh and the UDP, this time, prefers to work with the non-Congress parties, he said.

“Although we (UDP) are at an advantage point to bargain for seats, we will still follow democratic conventions,” he added.

Polling for 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly in Meghalaya was held on February 27. A Nationalist Congress Party candidate was killed in an IED blast, which resulted in countermanding of the polls in one seat.

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 17:39 IST