Conrad to take oath today; Rio, Biplab on March 8; Rajnath, Amit Shah to attend swearing-in ceremony today

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From Dhrubajyoti Chakravorty

Shillong, March 5: Just a day before the swearing-in ceremony Conrad Sangma-led government in Meghalaya, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), which is a partner in the new arrangement, has refused to extend support to the new government if BJP takes part in it.

Stating that the party is not going with Conrad K Sangma led government, the HSPDP president Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said, “We want a non-Congress and non-BJP government in the state.”

The HSPDP chief also said that UDP did not consult with his party before proposing Conrad K Sangma’s name as the chief minister.

The central executive committee (CEC) meeting of the HSPDP, which was called on Monday, also maintained its firm stand for formation of a non-Congress and non-BJP government stating that minus these two national parties, the NPP still has the number.

The decision was also conveyed to the UDP chief Donkupar Roy, who is also the chairman of the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) formed by the two regional parties, by Basaiawmoit.

“We have met the leadership of the UDP and expressed our disappointment and disagreement as far as the proposal made for chief minister candidate which was taken unilaterally (by the UDP) without consulting us its partner alliance,” Basaiawmoit told journalists in Shillong.

On Sunday, the National People’s Party (NPP) had submitted a list of 34 MLAs, including the BJP, UDP, HSPDP, PDF and an Independent, to Governor Ganga Prasad staking claim to form the next government in the state. The HSPDP has two MLAs.

Maintaining it is not against Conrad, Basaiawmoit however said, “We would like to see that an elected MLA of the NPP should be the chief minister especially when the party itself had announced the name of Prestone Tynsong earlier for the post.”

Meanwhile, Conrad K Sangma will be sworn in as the new Meghalaya chief minister on Tuesday.

Union home minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal will attend the swearing-in ceremony.

The new alliance has named as Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), informed Conrad Sangma.

According to sources, besides chief minister designate Conrad Sangma, 11 others will take oath to be administered by governor Ganga Prasad at Raj Bhawan.

The new ministry will have representatives from all the alliance partners. NPP -5 (including CM), UDP –3, BJP -1, HSPDP -1 and PDF 2.

BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, after staking claim to form the new government on Sunday, told reporters that the coalition government will not have any deputy chief minister unlike the outgoing Congress-led government, which had two deputy chief ministers.

He said there will be adequate representation from all the coalition partners in the Cabinet.

Sources said UDP president and former chief minister Donkupar Roy will be the new Assembly Speaker and the post of Deputy Speaker may go to Sanbor Shullai.

Assembly session

The newly-elected MLAs of Meghalaya will take oath during a special one-day assembly session on Wednesday, assembly commissioner and secretary Andrew Simons said in Shillong on Monday.

“A one-day special session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly will be held on March 7 at 10 am, where the newly elected MLAs will take oath before Protem Speaker at the Assembly chamber,” Simons said in a statement.

National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad K. Sangma, who was been invited to form government by Governor Ganga Prasad earlier in the day, will recommend the name of the Protem Speaker after assuming the charge of chief minister on Tuesday, he said, adding that the governor will also issue a notification in this regard, he said.


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