Congress hopes dashed as Conrad Sangma all set to be the new CM of Meghalaya

New Delhi, March 5: NPP president Conrad Sangma met Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad Sunday evening and staked claim to form the government in the state with the support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly

Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate on Saturday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the National People's Party (NPP), an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur

"We met the Governor and submitted a letter of support from 34 MLAs; 19 of the NPP, six of the the United Democratic Party (UDP), four of the People's Democratic Front (PDF), two each of the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP and an Independent," 40-year-old Sangma told reporters outside the Raj Bhavan here

After failing to form a government in Meghalaya, state Congress president Vincent Pala on Sunday said that it was his party who won the mandate of the people in the state assembly.

Talking on the alliance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the National People's Party (NPP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP), Pala asserted that it was known beforehand that all the three parties were together.

"We do not have pre-poll alliance with anybody. Right from the time of campaigning, we knew that the BJP, the NPP, and the UDP were together and it has been proved now. The mandate was actually given to the Congress party," Pala said.

The Meghalaya Congress president further hit at the BJP and its allies forming the government in the state, saying that it is very easy to stake a claim, but difficult to govern.

Speaking to ANI, he said that the Congress have accepted the verdict and even after sitting in Opposition they will keep on fighting for the people.

"We accept the verdict of the people. We will keep fighting for the issues of people of Meghalaya. It is easy to stake the claim, since there is a fractured mandate it is easy to form the government but difficult to govern," Pala said.

Resonating similar sentiments, another Congress leader P.L. Punia said that the BJP is destabilising the mandate of people, which is 'lethal for democracy.'

"This happened earlier in Manipur and Goa. Efforts are being made to destabilise the mandate of people. This is lethal for democracy," Punia said.

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.

The NPP President Conrad Sangma will be the new chief minister of Meghalaya. 

News24Bureau with Agencies