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SHILLONG: National People's Party (NPP) President Conrad Sangma will be the new chief minister of Meghalaya, Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters here, Sarma stated that there would be no deputy chief minister for the state.
He further added that the oath-taking ceremony would take place on March 6.
Furthermore, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader noted that since one MLA out of every two MLAs of all supporting political parties will be a part of the new government, one MLA out of the two BJP MLAs will also be a part of it.
Earlier, Former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma's son, Conrad Sangma met the Meghalaya Governor to stake claim to form the government in the state, with the support of 34 members, including those from NPP, BJP, United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and others.
He said the 34 legislators include 19 from National People's Party (NPP), six from United Democratic Party (UDP), four from People's Democratic Front (PDF), two each from Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), besides one Independent MLA Samuel Sangma.
"Next two to three days are very crucial since the Assembly term will culminate on March 7. Running a coalition government is never easy, but I am confident that the MLAs who are with us are very committed to the state and people, and will work towards their development," Conrad Sangma said.
The regional parties -- UDP, HSPDP and PDF -- extended support to the NPP on the condition that Conrad Sangma would be the Chief Minister.
"NPP have agreed to the condition of the three regional parties and I (Conrad Sangma) will be the Chief Minister," he said.
He said the non-Congress parties will now only wait for the invitation of the Governor to install the new government.
The ruling Congress, which emerged as the single largest party winning 21 seats in the assembly elections, could not stitch a post-polls alliance with the regional parties to retain power in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya is the second state, after Manipur and Goa, where the Congress has not been able to forge a post-polls alliance with any of the regional parties despite emerging as the largest single party.
But the designated Chief Minister said: "It is not about the single largest but it is about the group who has the majority. It is clear that we have the majority by getting the support of the 34 MLAs. Therefore, we have come and staked our claim to form the government."
Earlier in the day, the Congress made all attempts to convince the regional parties to support the Congress in government formation, even as the outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma came with a proposal of sharing power -- two-and-half years each -- with the UDP, the main regional party in the state.
"He (Mukul Sangma) came and met me seeking our support to form the government with a proposal of sharing power two and half years each," UDP chief Dr Donkupar Roy said.
Roy said that his party did not approve the idea of working with the Congress for the sake of stability.
Meanwhile, the newly elected member of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) have elected the outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma as their CLP leader.
As per the results of the Meghalaya State Assembly polls declared on March 3, the Congress party retained its hold with 21 seats, while the NPP bagged 19 seats.
Following its defeat in the state Assembly polls here, the BJP on Saturday had suggested that the NPP and UDP enter into an alliance to form a "non-Congress government" in the state.
Echoing a similar stance, UDP President Donkupar Roy on Sunday extended the party's support to the NDP.
Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that the UDP has extended their support to the formation of a "non-Congress government" led by the National People's Party in the state.
"At 5 pm, we will be meeting the Meghalaya Governor along with 29 members, including the NPP (19 members), UDP (6 members), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP-2 members) and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP-2 members). However, the number can go up to 34, as we are also in talks with the People's Democratic Front (PDF)," Sarma told media here.
As per the results of the Meghalaya State Assembly polls declared on Saturday, the Congress party retained its hold with 21 seats. However, the NPP bagged 19 seats, which implies that even though the Congress party won, it still may not form the government.
Echoing a similar stance, UDP President Donkupar Roy on Sunday called for a state government led by Conrad Sangma.
"As a party, we meet and discussed the formation of the government, and decided we should form a non-Congress government. We also decided that the NPP government should be led by Conrad Sangma," Roy told ANI.
(With PTI inputs)