Conrad Sangma set to be next CM of Meghalaya

Conrad Sangma set to be next CM of Meghalaya

National People's Party (NPP) leader Conrad Sangma will be the next chief minister of Meghalaya as the BJP outwitted Congress to win the support of regional parties.

After hectic parleys, Conrad assured every regional outfit the United Democratic Party, Hill State People's Democratic Party and the People's Democratic Front  besides the BJP a share in the coalition government.

"One MLA out of every two MLAs of all the parties will be a part of the government," Conrad told reporters in Shillong.

The Congress cried foul and raised questions over the stability of such a government.

Conrad met Governor Ganga Prasad and staked claim to form the government. He is scheduled to take oath as chief minister on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. There will be no deputy chief minister, Sangma added.

"Things like these do not last. This was tried eight years ago and it failed," AICC spokesperson Sushmita Dev told DH.

Another Congress leader P L Punia recalled similar instances last year when the BJP rode to power in Manipur and Goa despite coming second in the Assembly elections.

"This is a sheer display of muscle power. This has happened earlier in Manipur and Goa. Efforts are being made to destabilise the people's mandate. This is lethal for democracy," Punia said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had rushed senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Kamal Nath and Mukul Wasnik to make some quick moves and avoid a repeat of Manipur and Goa, where it was outwitted by the BJP. The Congress leaders met the governor late on Saturday night to stake claim to form the government by virtue of being the single-largest party. However, the Congress was unable to enlist the support of regional parties.

Earlier, there were dramatic scenes at the residence of former chief minister Donkupar Roy, the leader of the UDP which won six seats, as Conrad and outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma reached almost at the same time to seek his support for forming the government.

Roy announced his support to the NPP with a pre-condition that Conrad would be the chief minister.

Conrad, the son of NPP founder and former chief minister the late P A Sangma, is a Lok Sabha member from Tura. "Running a coalition government is never easy, but I am confident that the MLAs who are with us are very committed to the state and people, and will work towards their development," the chief minister-designate was quoted as saying by ANI.

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