MPA parades 30 MLAs before Governor at Raj Bhawan

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Shillong, Mar 10: In a show of strength, a combined UDP and NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) today paraded 30 of its 31 MLAs before Governor S S Sidhu and staked claim to form the new government.

The 30 legislators, barring former Chief Minister E K Mawlong, led by MPA's Chief Ministerial candidate Dr Donkupar Roy, marched to Raj Bhawan and handed over the letter of support signed by all 31 MLAs to Mr Sidhu. ''We have paraded our 30 MLAs, except Mr Mawlong, before the Governor and told him that we (MPA) want to prove our majority in the House,'' Dr Roy told reporters after a 20-minute meeting with Mr Sidhu.

Dr Roy added that the Governor would take a decision in this regard by today evening.

Mr Mawlong, a former Chief Minister, could not join his colleagues to meet the Governor following ill health.

The Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) is a conglomeration of the Nationalist Congress Party (14), United Democratic Party (11), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), two Independents and one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party, has fallen short by just six seats to cross the majority threshold in the 60-member House.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who is instrumental in the formation of the MPA, felt that the Governor should invite the MPA to form the new government in the state.

''He (Governor) should invite us, rather than encouraging the Congress to indulge in horse-trading,'' Mr Sangma said.

The NCP leader, who returned to Meghalaya politics, alleged that the Congress had already ''physically confined three Independent MLAs - Ismail R Marak, A T Mondal and Liminson Sangma''.

''They (three Independent MLAs) are already illegaly detained and physically confined by the Congress. They have kept in touch with me and at the same time, we have informed authorities concerned for taking necessary action,'' he stated.

Other leaders of the MPA, who were in the Raj Bhawan, have also reaffirmed their commitment to be with the MPA till the end of the eighth Meghalaya Legislative Assembly term.


UNI

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