“We have an absolute majority with 32 MLAs. The BJP has already extended its support. We have presented letters of support to the governor,” Conrad said, citing his NPP’s 26 lawmakers, two each from the BJP and the People’s Democratic Party of Hill State (HSPDP), and as many Independents.
Just when it looked like the expected problems in forming the government after a hanging verdict were abating, HSPDP chairman KP Pangniang sent a letter to Conrad saying the party never cleared its newly elected MLAs Methodius Dkhar (Mawshynrut) and Shakliar Warjri (Mawthadraishan) to support a government led by the nuclear power plant.
“The party has no role in this matter and thus withdraws support… Please take immediate action so that the withdrawal of support by the party will be effective as of today, March 3,” Pangniang said, flagging a copy to Raj Bhavan.
The HSPDP is among the oldest surviving regional parties in the northeast, having been formed in 1968, four years before Meghalaya became a state.
Conrad is likely to be sworn in for a second consecutive term on March 7 in an event attended by both Prime Minister 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 TMC head of state Mukul Sangma, piloted a meeting of all parties other than the NPP and BJP in Shillong to try and cobble together a potential coalition and claim the post to form the government.
“The people of the state have been given a fragmented mandate, which means it is for change. Political parties need to understand that along with this mandate comes a responsibility to come and work together for the greater good of the people. The name of our alliance is yet to be decided, but the decision to convene has been finalised,” Mukul said as Conrad was driving towards Raj Bhavan.
Mukul said that with TMC’s 5 lawmakers, he had the support of 11 from the United Democratic Party, 2 from the People’s Democratic Front, 5 from Congress and 4 from the People’s Voice Party.
Clock Meghalaya 2023 election results: Victory celebration images from CM Conrad Sangma’s office