Nothing 'illegal' swearing Ministers of minority party: Sidhu

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Shillong, Mar 12 (UNI) Meghalaya Governor S S Sidhu today averred that there was nothing 'illegal' in swearing in of the Ministers, even if they belonged to a minority party in the Assembly.

'' Anyone can be sworn in provided that the person is elected to the Assembly within six months, '' Mr Sidhu told reporters at the Raj Bhawan after the swearing-in ceremony of the seven MUA Ministers.

Asked whether the newly sworn Ministers are part of the minority government or that of the majority, the Governor said, '' Mr Lapang will prove majority of the government by March 20. '' Chief Minister D D Lapang also said there was nothing wrong for him and the Ministers to check the official files and have Cabinet meeting though some may raise the issue that the minority government could not take any major decision.

'' We are in majority and this will be proved in the House, '' Mr Lapang stated.

The Congress, which emerged as the single largest party with 25 seats, had fallen short by six seats to cross the majority threshold. The Congress, however, managed to rope in three Independent MLAs from Garo Hills to increase its tally to 28, and needed three more to get the magical figure of 31 in the 60-member House.

On Monday, 30 of the 31 MLAs of Meghalaya Progressive Alliance(MPA) paraded physically and staked their claim to form the government before the Governor.

However, the Governor invited the Congress, saying his decision was aimed at preventing horse-trading.

The MPA is a conglomeration of the Nationalist Congress Party (14), UDP (11), HSPDP (2), two Independents and one each from the BJP and the KHNAM.

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