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Conrad Sangma stakes claim for Govt formation in Meghalaya

05 March 2018

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma submitted his resignation to Governor Ganga Prasad in Shillong on Sunday.

While the three Independent MLAS are Congress rebels and can be persuaded to come back, sources said the leadership of chief minister Mukul Sangma was coming up as a hurdle because many regional players had reservations against him. He handed a letter of support from 34 MLAs to the governor and his swearing-in is set for Tuesday, said a politician who asked not be named. "We can only help the NPP and encourage the regional parties to form a government", Sarma told reporters on Saturday.

"I am confident that the regional parties and the BJP will form the government in Meghalaya together".

The Congress has been in power in Meghalaya since 2003 barring a year-long rule by the United Democratic Party in 2008-09.

"We will stake claim to form the government".

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To give Congress an upper hand, senior party leaders Kamal Nath and Ahmed Patel rushed to the state capital Shillong on Saturday, moments after the verdict threw in a stalemate. Congress emerged as the single largest party with 21 seats, down from 28 from last assembly polls, Conrad Sangma's National People's Party (NPP) won 19 seats, while UDP managed to secure six seats.

With no single party crossing the halfway mark, the state is headed for a hung Assembly.

A day after the election results in three north-east states, Congress' footprint has shrunk to just three of India, Karnataka, Punjab and Mizoram.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has strengthened his hold on the Congress during his almost eight years in office. UDP president and RDA chairman Donkupar Roy said that NPP was extended support on the condition that Sangma is made the CM.

This means the NPP-UDP-HSPDP-BJP alliance already seems to have 29 MLAs.

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All these party leaders met Governor Ganga Prasad in Raj Bhawan this evening to stake claim to form the next government.

The saffron party inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Left Front, which had never faced such a situation, even when it had lost power in 1988 to the Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samity combine, media reports pointed out.

Meanwhile, Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma too confirmed that Conrad will be the new chief minister of Meghalaya.

NPP with 19 seats had been spearheading an effort to form a non-Congress government in the state.

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Conrad Sangma stakes claim for Govt formation in Meghalaya