More support arrives for Conrad Sangma’s NPP to form government in Meghalaya 

The United Democratic Party and the People’s Democratic Front had tried cobbling up an alternative government 

March 05, 2023 09:38 pm | Updated March 06, 2023 02:26 am IST - Guwahati

People’s Democratic Front MLAs Gavin. M. Mylliem (right) and Banteidor Lyngdoh submit their letter of support to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. 

People’s Democratic Front MLAs Gavin. M. Mylliem (right) and Banteidor Lyngdoh submit their letter of support to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The drama over the formation of government in Meghalaya ended on March 5, 2023, evening after two regional parties with 13 seats between them extended support to the National People’s Party (NPP). 

The United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) were among six parties, including Congress and Trinamool Congress, that tried to cobble up an alternative government on March 3. 

These parties met in State capital Shillong soon after NPP chief Conrad K. Sangma led a 29-member team of newly-elected members to meet Governor Phagu Chauhan and stake claim to form the government. Mr. Sangma had 29 MLAs – 26 of the NPP, two of the BJP and an Independent – but claimed he had 32 with him. 

Also read: Newly-elected Meghalaya MLAs to take oath on March 6

The other three turned out to be another Independent and two MLAs of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP). The two had slipped out of the meeting of the “non-NPP, non-BJP” parties and met Mr. Sangma with their letters of support. 

On Sunday, UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh and the two newly-elected MLAs of the PDF – Gavin M. Mylliem and Banteidor Lyngdoh – submitted their letters of support to Mr. Sangma. 

The UDP, which emerged as the second-largest party with 11 seats and PDF were constituents of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government from 2018-2023. 

Also read: NPP to head second successive coalition in Meghalaya 

The NPP chose not to disclose if the UDP and PDF would be accommodated in the new government. “Mr. Sangma is expected to announce the Council of Ministers and complete other formalities after the new MLAs take the oath of office tomorrow [Monday],” a party spokesperson said. 

Softened stand 

Late Saturday night, HSPDP president K.P. Pangniang softened the party stand after asking its MLAs – Methodius Dkhar and Shakliar Warjri – to withdraw their support to the NPP for forming the new government in Meghalaya. 

He reminded journalists that the HSPDP had during the election campaign said it would be a part of any government. “We are going to be a part of the NPP-led government if the move to install an alternative government minus the NPP and BJP fails to materialise,” he said. 

His statement followed the resolution of the party’s local units in Mawshynrut and Mawthadraishan, the constituencies in the West Khasi Hills district from where Mr. Dkhar and Mr. Warjri won respectively, to back their representatives. These units said they respect the decision of the duo and advised some NGOs not to “mix community sentiments with politics”. 

The NGOs had on Saturday protested the two HSPDP legislators’ decision to support the NPP-led formation and burnt their effigies. They also said a person from the Khasi community deserved to be the Chief Minister. 

Meghalaya’s Chief Ministers for the last 13 years have been from the Garo community that dominates the western half of the State. Mr. Conrad Sangma and his predecessor, Mukul M. Sangma belong to the Garo community. 

Formerly of Congress, Mr. Mukul Sangma is now a leader of the Trinamool Congress. He had taken the lead in trying to form an alternative government.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.