Non-Cong formations to form govt in Nagaland, Meghalaya

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Kohima/Shillong, Mar 9 (UNI) Non-Congress formations were all set today to form the next governments in volatile Nagaland and Meghalaya after securing razor-thin majorities in the recent Assembly elections.

In Nagaland, Democratic Alliance of Nagaland (DAN), led by Nagaland Peoples Front (NPF), this afternoon staked claim to form the next government in the state.

DAN, led by former Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of NPF, met Governor K Sankaranarayanan at the Raj Bhawan, and staked its claim to form the ministry.

Mr Rio claimed that he had 34 MLAs, and would form the ministry.

In the just concluded election to the 60-member Assembly, NPF bagged 26 seats. Two of its alliance partners--BJP and NCP--garnered two seats each. Mr Rio also claimed that four Independents were with the alliance.

Mr Rio said all the 34 members were present during the time of staking claim before the Governor.

''The Governor informed us about some formalities, specially revocation of President's Rule and some others, which should be completed,'' he added.

He said after completing the formalities the Governor would invite him to form the government by March 11.

In Meghalaya, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combined Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) is all set to form the new government.

In Tripura, Manik Sarkar will be sworn in as the Chief Minister tomorrow after the CPI(M)-led Left Front romped back to power for the fourth consecutive term with a whopping two-thirds majority.

Meghalaya's UDP and NCP have agreed to lead the government for two-and-half years each of the total five-year-term with UDP president Dr Donkupar Roy leading the first half while NCP general secretary P A Sangma leading the remaining years of the MPA government.

''There is a perfect understanding among the coalition partners and we don't foresee any difficulty of MPA leading a coalition government,''Mr Sangma said.

The former Lok Sabha Speaker said the other aspects of the ministry formation and election for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker posts would be discussed later with the coalition partners.

A Core Committee, headed by Dr Roy has been formed to study the manifestoes of different political parties of the alliance to draw up a Common Minimum Programme (CMP).

The MPA comprises of NCP(14), UDP(11), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), Two Independents and one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement.

In Tripura, twelve ministers also would take the oath of office along with Mr Sarkar, who will be sworn in as the Chief Minister for the third consecutive term.

Ramendra Debnath and Bhanulal Saha have been nominated as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectably, who would also be given the oath of secrecy with the cabinet.

UNI TEAM SP DB1910

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