Conrad sworn in as Meghalaya CM

Aaron Brown
March 9, 2018

Conrad Sangma's skills of persuasion and negotiation will be tested if the contradictions within the five-party coalition, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), come to the fore. The Congress won 21 seats making it the single largest party in the state.

On Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP of "usurping" power through a proxy in Meghalaya and using "big money" to create an "opportunistic alliance" in the state. 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.

Political drama continues in Meghalaya hours ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the new government in the state on Tuesday. Though it sailed with NDPP into the election, BJP is now in a position to decide who is a better partner in the long run. BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, announced after Mr Sangma staked claim to form the government and received an invite. "We met the Governor and sought his invitation to the single largest party to be called first to form the Government as per convention", former Union Minister Nath told PTI.

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The Conrad Sangma government is supported by the United Democratic Party (6 MLAs), Peoples' Democratic Party (4), two MLAs each of the Hills State Peoples Democratic Party and the BJP and an Independent MLA Samuel Sangma. BJP's performance, netting over 15% of the vote in Nagaland and almost 10% in Meghalaya, also reveals that toning down its Hindutva agenda in the north-east earned traction with voters. Outgoing Chief Minister Mukul, even came up with a "preposterous" proposal of sharing power-two-and-half years each-with the UDP, the main regional party in the state, which won six seats. In a tweet, Gandhi said the Congress had accepted the mandate but would strive to win back the trust of the electorate in the Northeast. The NPP leader made a dramatic turnaround in the Assembly Election and was selected as the Chief Minister.

He twisted the hands of BJP President Amit Shah with his NPP and friendly NPF (Naga People's Front) unit of Manipur. "Time for Modi government and BJP to answer whether it stands for the division of Tripura".

In Tripura, the government formation process is expected to be completed by March 10.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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