Updated: March 7, 2018 2:41:37 am
Conrad Sangma, son of former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma and chief of National People’s Party, was on Tuesday sworn in as the 12th Chief Minister of Meghalaya. The 40-year-old was administered the oath by Governor Ganga Prasad at the lawns of the sprawling Raj Bhawan here along with 11 ministers from alliance partners United Democratic Party, BJP, People’s Democratic Front and Hill State People’s Democratic Party.
The National People’s Party-led five-party coalition has been named the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA). All the parties had come together to deny the Congress, which had emerged as the single largest party with 21 seats in the 60-member house, a shot at power. In a shot in the arm for the alliance, the lone NCP MLA Saleng Sangma and an Independent member extended support to the MDA, taking the tally to 36.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, BJP’s North-east in-charge Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former Meghalaya chief ministers Mukul Sangma and D D Lapang, and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party chief Niephiu Rio attended the swearing-in.
Read | Who is Conrad Sangma?
Rajnath said the formation of the NPP-led non-Congress government was very important for the NDA. “The whole of North-East is becoming Congress-mukt. And in the states, governments are being formed by either the BJP or NDA,” he said.
Apart from Conrad, four MLAs of his party NPP, including his brother James Sangma, three of the UDP, two from the PDF and one each from the BJP and HSPDP took oath. Ardent Basaiawmoit, the president of HSPDP which has two MLAs had Monday announced that his party would not be part of a government which has the BJP in it but his MLAs defied him.
The list of ministers circulated late Monday night did not have the name of the HSPDP’s first-time MLA Samlin Malngiang. But overnight, things changed and the HSPDP MLA took oath with others. Besides James, the ministers from the NPP are Prestone Tynsong, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Comingone Ymbon — all three of them were ministers in an earlier Congress government before defecting to the NPP.
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