National Peoples Party (NPP) president Conrad K Sangma on Friday called on Meghalaya Governor Phagu Chauhan and submitted to him the letter of support of 32 MLAs, while staking claim to form the government in the northeastern state.
Sangma, the outgoing chief minister, said he has the support of BJP, HSPDP and two Independent MLAs, while asserting the total tally may go up in the coming days as he is in touch with other parties as well.
He said the oath-taking ceremony will take place at 11 am on March 7 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his consent to be present on the occasion.
“I have submitted to the governor the letter of support of different parties. In all, we have the support of 32 MLAs. Apart from NPPs 26 legislators, two each are from the BJP and HSPDP, besides two Independent lawmakers, Sangma said.
“All of them have signed the letter. We are talking to some more parties and their MLAs. So, the number is likely to go up in the coming days,” he said. The NPP supremo claimed that different parties have approached him to support the government led by his party.
He, however, said the name of the new alliance has not been decided yet.
Asked about opposition charges that HSPDP MLAs were “hijacked” by the NPP, Sangma, “Nobody has hijacked anyone. We have their full support.” Earlier in the day, high drama was witnessed as various parties including the Trinamool Congress, Congress, UDP, PDF and VPP, held parleys on staking claim to form a non-NPP, non-BJP government.
TMC leader Mukul Sangma said they were trying to “save Meghalaya from corrupt leaders”.
UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh said the party did not receive any invitation from the NPP to join hands to stake claim to form the government.
The two HSPDP MLAs who swore allegiance to the Sangma-led bloc were conspicuous in their absence in the meetings of the non-BJP, non-NPP parties.
The NPP emerged the single-largest party in Meghalaya, bagging 26 of the 59 seats that went to polls on February 27. The BJP, HSPDP and the PDF won two seats each, while two Independent candidates also emerged victorious.
The UDP, which was NPPs ally in the Conrad K Sangma government, emerged as the second-largest party, winning 11 constituencies.
The Congress and the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC won five seats each.
The newly formed Voice of the People Party (VPP) won four seats, while the Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the Peoples Democratic Front won two seats each.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)