National People's Party to form next Meghalaya govt, Sangma to be CM

Meghalaya Assembly Poll Trends Congress Shows Early Leads CM Mukul Sangma Leading In Songsak

A delegation of three Congress leaders - Kamal Nath, Ahmed Patel and C P Joshi - had yesterday staked a claim to form the government in the state at a meeting with the Governor.

After support from the Independent elected candidate from Baghmara, the strength of the BJP-NPP alliance has been increased to 22 and needs 9 more seats to touch the magic number to form government.

Shillong: Meghalaya witnessed a fractured mandate on Saturday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party but only marginally ahead of rival National People's Party, providing the smaller parties with an opportunity to play kingmaker.

During his meeting with the Meghalaya Governor, Sangma claimed support of 34 members, including those from NPP, BJP, United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and others. UDP president and RDA chairman Donkupar Roy told reporters here that his party has agreed to lend support to the NPP, which secured 19 seats in the Assembly polls, on the condition that Conrad Sangma will be the chief minister once the NPP-led alliance forms the government.

Among Congress stalwarts who have lost are former chief minister Salseng C. Marak, defeated by former deputy chief minister and NPP candidate Timothy D. Shira at Resubelpara.

The Congress' vote base shifted to the BJP in Tripura where it had a vote share of 36.53 percent in 2013 when it contested 48 seats and won 10 seats.

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

Asked about the challenges of running a coalition government, Sangma today said, "It is not an easy task".

Mr Sarma said that it would encourage regional parties to form a government.

Polling for 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly was held on February 27. "Now it is a question of looking at people who would like to look at common agenda acceptable to the state's people and come together", outgoing chief minister Mukul Sangma told IANS.

With the NPP-led coalition set to form the government in Meghalaya despite Congress being the largest party, BJP's Himanta Biswas Sarma on Sunday said Rahul Gandhi is not mature enough to understand government formation calculations.

There are three Independents and one MLA belongs to a smaller party Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement. After an IED blast killed an NCP leader, results were countermanded for one constituency.

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