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Meghalaya govt formation: Conrad Sangma loses support of two MLAs

The regional Hill State Peoples Democratic Party said on Monday it opposed Conrad Sangma as CM as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being a part of the coalition government.

Meghalaya Elections 2018 Updated: Mar 05, 2018 23:07 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya government,Meghalaya,Conrad Sangma
National People's Party's Conrad Sangma met Meghalaya governor Ganga Prasad at Raj Bhawan in Shillong on Sunday to stake claim to form the new government in Meghalaya. (PTI Photo)

A day before being sworn in as the chief minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma lost the support of the regional Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP), which has two MLAs. But this will not affect his chances of becoming CM because he still has the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member assembly.

On Sunday, National People’s Party (NPP) chief Sangma had claimed HSPDP support. The regional party, however, said on Monday it opposed Sangma as CM as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being a part of the coalition government. Incidentally, the BJP also won two seats in the hill state.

The HSPDP’s conveyed its opposition to United Democratic Party (UDP) chief Donkupar Roy. The UDP, which has six MLAs, had a pre-poll alliance with the HSPDP. The UDP is a key player in the NPP-led coalition.

“We met the UDP leadership and expressed our disappointment and disagreement as far as the proposal made for the chief ministerial candidate, which was taken unilaterally (by the UDP) without consulting us,” HSPDP chief Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit told journalists on Monday evening.

He added that his party’s opposition to Sangma, the MP for Tura Lok Sabha constituency, was because “he is not an elected MLA”. Basaiawmoit said before the February elections, the NPP had projected Prestone Tynsong as its CM pick.

He said it would be “betrayal” for the people of Meghalaya if Tynsong was not made CM. “They (NPP) openly said he was their CM candidate. On that basis he (Tynsong) left the Congress to become CM of the state,” said Basaiawmoit.

The HSPDP had campaigned for a non-Congress and non-BJP government in Meghalaya.

Asked about the HSPDP position, BJP legislative party leader AL Hek replied, “It is a family matter for the HSPDP and we have no say in it.”

The state, meanwhile, is abuzz with talk of cabinet berth allotment and how Sangma would give representation to regional allies.

Sangma and UDP president Roy could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.

On Sunday, the BJP’s north-east strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma had told the media there would not be a deputy CM in the government.

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 23:06 IST