Like-minded parties in touch with Cong: Lapang

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Shillong, Mar 14 (UNI) Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang today claimed that some like-minded political parties were in touch with him to extend support to the Congress-led minority Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government.

'' We are in constant touch with our like-minded friends and talks are positive, '' Mr Lapang told reporters after chairing the Congress Legislature Party meeting at his official residence.

The CLP meet had nominated former Tourism Minister and Congress Legislator Charles Pyngrope as their contender for the post of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker.

Last week, the MUA had entrusted Mr Lapang with the task to negotiate with the regional parties for extending support ahead of the floor test on March 19.

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

'' I cannot divulge to you all now. I will say again that talks are positive and we keep our cards close to our chest, '' Mr Lapang confidently said.

However, the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA), a conglomeration of non-Congress parties - the Nationalist Congress Party (14), United Democratic Party, Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), two Independents and one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement - had expressed firm commitment to dislodge the Congress government in the state.

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