MPA exudes confidence to oust Cong in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Mar 17 (UNI) Five anti-Congress political parties in Meghalaya today exuded confidence to win the floor test against the Congress-led minority Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) Government in the Assembly.

Chief Minister D D Lapang fixed March 19 to prove his majority in the 60-member House.

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

Mr Lapang, however, roped in three Independent MLAs and increased its tally to 28 seats.

The non-Congress conglomerate Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) on the other hand has 31 MLAs on its side.

One seat was still vacant owing to the sudden demise of the Congress candidate of Baghmara constituency.

Election to the Baghmara seat is scheduled on March 22.

Counting will be held on March 25.

'' The MPA is united. We are having the strength of 31 and this strength will remain, '' MPA's Chief Ministerial candidate Dr Donkupar Roy told reporters here and exuded confidence to oust the one-week government of Mr Lapang.

The MPA comprises 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.

Dr Roy, also the President of UDP, reiterated the UDP's commitment to ensure the MPA Government complete its five-year term.

'' The Congress approached us (UDP), but I have told Mr Lapang that it is too late as we have already inked an agreement to work with the MPA, '' he revealed.

The UDP had a post-poll alliance with the Congress and formed the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) soon after 2003 Assembly polls.

The Congress Government then was supported by the UDP, HSPDP, MDP and KHNAM.

''Our agreement is a gentleman's agreement, we respect our own agreement like we did with the Congress, '' Dr Roy said.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP MLA P A Sangma, who was instrumental for the formation of the MPA to prevent the Congress from leading the government for another term, said the MPA would complete its five-year term and survive for the next ten years.

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