National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad Sangma on Tuesday took oath as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, a day after staking claim to form the government with support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad presided over the swearing-in ceremony.
Following his meeting with the Meghalaya Governor on Sunday, Sangma had said, “We met the governor and submitted a letter of support from 34 MLAs – 19 of the NPP, six of the United Democratic Party (UDP), four of the People’s Democratic Front (PDF), two each of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP and an Independent.”
Sangma also met Regional Democratic Alliance chairman Donkupar Roy at his residence.
Conrad (40) is the youngest son of former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma, who died in 2016. He was elected a Member of Parliament in a bypolls from the Tura constituency after his father’s death.
Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate on Saturday with the Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the National People’s Party (NPP), an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.
The Congress, which has been in power in the state for the last 10 years, won 21 seats out the 59 that went to polls on February 27, 2018. The figure is 10 short of a simple majority.
The party had staked claim to form the government in the state at a meeting with the governor, officials and party leaders had said. A delegation of three central leaders of the Congress – Kamal Nath, Ahmed Patel and CP Joshi had met the governor on Saturday.
Meanwhile, breaking his silence on the defeat in three Northeast states, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said on Monday that the party was committed to winning back the people’s trust and hit out at the BJP, accusing it of “usurping” power through proxy in Meghalaya and using “big money” to create an “opportunistic alliance”.