“We have an absolute majority with 32 MLAs. BJP has already extended its support. We have submitted the letters of support to the governor,” Conrad said, mentioning his NPP’s 26 legislators, two each from BJP and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), and as many Independents.
Just when it seemed the expected troubles in government formation after a hung verdict were waning, HSPDP president K P Pangniang shot off a letter to Conrad saying the party never authorised its newly elected MLAs Methodius Dkhar (Mawshynrut) and Shakliar Warjri (Mawthadraishan) to support an NPP-led government.
“The party has no role in this affair and, thereby, withdraws support…Kindly act immediately that the party’s withdrawal of support stands effective from today, March 3,” Pangniang said, marking a copy to Raj Bhavan.
HSPDP is among the North-East’s oldest surviving regional parties, having been formed in 1968, four years before Meghalaya got statehood.
Conrad is likely to be sworn in for a second successive term on March 7 at an event attended by both PM Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, sources said.
The day had started with a hiccup for Conrad when the other Sangma, former CM and state TMC chief Mukul Sangma, piloted a meeting of all parties other than NPP and BJP in Shillong to try and cobble together a potential coalition and stake claim to form the government.
“People of the state have given a fractured mandate, which means it is for change. Political parties must understand that along with this mandate comes a responsibility to come and work together for the larger good of people. The name of our alliance is yet to be decided but the resolve to come together has been finalised,” Mukul said even as Conrad was driving to Raj Bhavan.
Mukul claimed that with TMC’s 5 legislators, he had the support of United Democratic Party’s 11, People’s Democratic Front’s 2, Congress’s 5 and Voice of the People Party’s 4.
Watch Meghalaya Election Results 2023: Visuals of victory celebration from CM Conrad Sangma’s office
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