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

Sangma accompanied by BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma met Governor Ganga Prasad at Raj Bhawan in Shillong on Sunday evening and submitted the letter of support from 34 legislators.

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.

All other parties have backed the leadership of NPP, which 19 seats. The BJP has said that it will encourage regional parties to form government.

Meanwhile, the Congress which emerged as the single largest party with 21 seats, will hold a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting today at 3pm to chalk out a plan of action and to stake claim for formation of a new government.

"We told the Governor that we should be given the first shot at forming a government".

In another Northeast state previous year, the BJP outwitted the Congress, which was the single largest party but failed to move quickly enough to form government. The NPP has won 19 seats, while the UDP has won six seats, and its alliance partner Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) won two seats on Saturday.

MLAs from the NPP led by Sangma, and legislators from the BJP and UDP reached Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad's residence in Shillong to stake claim to form the government.

He questioned the Congress for sending two of its senior leaders Ahmed Patel and Kamal Nath to the northeastern state. Regional political party UDP secured 6 seats followed by Peoples' Democratic Party (4 seats), HSPDP (2 seats), BJP (2 seats), KHNAM one seat, NCP one seat and three Independents. Congress' count reduced by eight from the last Assembly polls while the BJP, which drew a blank in the last polls, bagged two seats.

Having drawn a blank in Tripura and Nagaland, the Congress is struggling to retain Meghalaya, which it has ruled for the last 10 years with Mukul Sangma at the helm. UDP president and RDA chairman Donkupar Roy said that NPP was extended support on the condition that Sangma is made the CM.

Although it has become clear that the BJP is not a force to reckon with in Meghalaya, national politics dictated that Congress focus its energy on the BJP rather than NPP.

  • Jon Douglas