Conrad Sangma takes oath as Meghalaya's 12th Chief Minister

Rajnath and BJP President Amit Shah were present for the oath taking ceremony of National People's Party (NPP) president Conrad Sangma as the chief minister of Meghalaya. Sangma had met the Governor on Sunday evening and staked claim to form the Government in the State, with the support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly.

The NPP, though an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur, did not have a seat-sharing arrangement with it in the state before the polls.

Sangma, 40, who is now a Lok Sabha member from Tura, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Prasad at the Raj Bhavan, reports PTI. Congress has reduced its tally by eight seats compared to the 2013 assembly elections. Eleven other ministers also took an oath along with Sangma.

40-year-old Conard Sangma will be heading a five-party coalition, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the northeastern state.

Meanwhile, the HSPDP - which convened an emergent central executive committee meeting - has expressed reservation to cobble up with the BJP since its (HSPDP's) stand has always been for a non-Congress or non-BJP government.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal who attended the swearing-in-ceremony of the new coalition government of Meghalaya congratulated the new CM Conrad Sangma and his council of ministers who were administered oath of office and secrecy at a function held at Raj Bhavan, Shillong on Tuesday.

Senior legislator A.L. Hek of the BJP and first-time legislator Samlin Malngiang of the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) were also sworn in as ministers.

The state is abuzz with talk of cabinet berth allotment and how Sangma would give representation to regional allies.

"I want to say that we as a cabinet, as a government and in fact all the MLAs and political parties will work together to take our state forward", he added. Congress, which was in power in the state for the last 10 years, bagged 21 constituencies out the 59 but fell short of majority mark by 10 seats following which it lost its long-kept throne from another state. His father has served as a speaker in Lok Sabha from 1996 to 1998 and as Meghalaya chief minister from 1988 to 1990. He served as the leader of the opposition in the assembly from 2010 to 2013. He failed to win the support of voters in 2013, losing to Congress's Clement Marak from Selsella by a margin of over 2,000 votes.

The HSPDP which has stitched a post-alliance with the NPP objected Sangma, the lone NPP Lok Sabha member, of being projected as a chief minister.

"Conrad is a very dynamic leader".

  • Eleanor Harrison