SHILLONG, March 06: Conrad Sangma who was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Meghalaya has admitted that there are challenges associated with running a coalition government even as he expressed his strong belief that he will be able to face these challenges successfully.
“We will face those challenges and we need to work unitedly,” Conrad said after Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office and secrecy to Sangma and 11 other Cabinet Ministers of the state’s first NPP led government.
Of the eleven ministers who sworn in, four are from the then Mukul-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) government comprising Prestone Tynsong, Sniawbhalang Dhar, Comingone Ymbon and Alexander L Hek– who left the Congress and joined NPP and BJP before the just concluded 2018 Assembly elections.
Conrad’s elder brother James K Sangma, a two-time legislator from Dadenggre, was also accommodated in the Cabinet.
Kyrmen Shylla, a first time elected member of the UDP from Khliehriat constituency, also become the youngest minister. The other two UDP legislators inducted in the Conrad-led cabinet include Metbah Lyngdoh and Lahkmen Rymbui.
Samlin Malngiang of the HSPDP and Hamletson Dohling of the PDF, were also rewarded with Cabinet berths for being giant killers as they defeated senior Congress leaders HDR Lyngdoh and Ronnie V Lyngdoh from Sohiong and Mylliem respectively. PDF MLA from Mawkynrew Banteidor also sworn in as a minister.
Interestingly, Malngiang’s was sworn in a day after HSPDP’s chief executive committee expressed its reservation on the decision to propose Conrad as chief minister and demanded exclusion of the BJP, which won only two seats, from the coalition government.
Meanwhile, Conrad said that this oath taking ceremony is just the beginning and that the real work and challenge starts immediately after. “I want to say that we as a cabinet, as a government and in fact all 60 MLAs and political parties will work together to take our state forward.”
The swearing in ceremony was also attended by former Congress Chief Ministers, Dr. DD Lapang and Dr. Mukul Sangma.