SHILLONG, March 04: Meghalaya is all set to have NPP Chief, Conrad K. Sangma as its new Chief Minister of the NPP - led coalition government. The swearing in ceremony will be held on Tuesday at 10.30 AM at Raj Bhavan.
Speaking to journalists outside the Raj Bhavan here, Conrad said, “We met the Governor and submitted a letter of support of 34 MLAs including 19 NPP, 6 UDP, 4 PDF, 2 each of the HSPDP and BJP and an Independent”.
Accompanied by BJP MLA AL Hek, Conrad said, “We have written a letter to the Governor staking claim to form the government. Now it is up to the Governor to intimate us as we wait.”
Conrad also informed that the letter of support he received from the regional parties and the BJP clearly mentioned that they will support the government led by Conrad K Sangma.
Among those who went inside to meet Governor include senior BJP leaders Himanta Biswa Sharma, K J Alphons and Nalin Kohli, UDP president Donkupar Roy, PDF chairman P N Syiem and supporting MLAs.
Earlier, the Congress also sent a letter to Governor indicating that the congress legislature party has elected former Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma as its CLP leader.
He however denied that there was opposition from the regional parties including the UDP about projecting Prestone Tynsong as the chief minister.
“There is nothing like that; there was no opposition to anybody. It is simple… the UDP sat and all decided that Conrad should lead the government,” he said.
The NPP leader also informed that the name of the coalition government led by NPP will also be decided accordingly when the party and its alliance partners sit later in the evening.
Asked from which seat he is going to contest, Conrad said the matter will be decided soon and likely by Monday the picture will be clear as everything has to take place before the House expires.
On the seat sharing, he said that they are yet to work out on anything now. “We are going to sit and work out the details by tomorrow (Monday),” he said.
Assuring a stable government, Conrad admitted that running a coalition government is never easy. He however said, “But I am confident that MLAs with us are very committed to the cause, the state and the people.”
“We have to work in a good understanding and we will take and carry everybody together and I am sure if we work in this manner, we will see stability in the government,” he said.
Reacting to another query, the NPP national president said that the party from day one had been very clear that it is here to work and provide good governance to the people after realising that governance is missing from the state.
“I think that will be our core area and ensure that transparency takes place in the state,” Conrad said while assuring proper implementation of central schemes besides ensuring proper policies related to health, social, education, youth and others are in place.
Taking a jibe at the Congress’s claim, he said that it is not a question of being single largest party it is about the group having the majority which in this case is clear that the NPP has the support of 34 to form the government.
“Since coalition partners have urged and discussed, I will ensure this government works, performs and delivers,” he assured.
NEDA Convenor and BJP leader, Himanata Biswa Sharma exuded that the NPP, BJP, regional parties and independents will form the government and Conrad Sangma will be the chief minister.
He said this soon after the coalition partners paraded around 34 MLAs in front of the Governor Ganga Prasad in Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the next government on Sunday evening.
Conrad Kongkal Sangma was born on 27 January 1978. He is the youngest son of former Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Late Purno A Sangma and Soradini Kongkal Sangma. He hails from Tura in West Garo Hills.
He did his schooling from St Columbas School, New Delhi and went on to pursue MBA in University of Pennsylvania and Imperial College, University of London. He started his political career in late 1990s, as the campaign manager for his late father, P. A. Sangma for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
He was first elected to the State Assembly along with his brother James Sangma, both as NCP members in the 2008 state elections and later held several important portfolios in the state cabinet, including the Finance, Power, Tourism, GAD and IT and presented his first annual budget for Meghalaya within 10 days of debuting as a minister.
The dynamic politician became the youngest Finance Minister of Meghalaya in 2008. He had also served as the Leader of the Opposition in the eighth Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
Though Conrad lost the 2013 Assembly Elections from Selsella constituency to Congress’s Clement Marak, he, however, came back with a bang after he successfully contested the 16th Lok Sabha bye-election in 2016 from Tura Parliamentary Constituency following the sudden demise of his father.
Now, as the tides are about to change in Meghalaya and the Congress is about to be dethroned, Conrad Sangma is the NPP’s face for the Chief Minister’s post.