Shillong, Mar.19 : Meghalaya United Democratic Party (MUDP) chief Donkupar Roy was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Meghalaya on Wednesday evening, hours after the Congress-led D D Lapang Ministry resigned ahead of a trust vote in the State Assembly.
Fifty-four-year-old Roy was sworn into office at 6.30 p.m. by State Governor S S Sidhu at the Governor's House here in the presence of several dignitaries, including leaders of his party, the opposition Congress and officials.
Six other MUDP legislators are expected to be sworn into office by the Governor on Thursday after the election of the Speaker.
Earlier in the day, legislators of the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance, which is headed by Nationalist Congress Party leader P A Sangma, handed over a letter to Governor Sidhu supporting Roy's appointment as the head of the new government. Roy is assuming office after a week of political turmoil in the state. Lapang, who was heading the minority Meghalaya United Alliance, resigned half an hour ahead of the floor test after failing to cobble up a majority.
Speaking to reporters after a Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, Lapang, who had the support of 28 members, including two independents, said "Congress could not garner the requisite support. So, the CLP decided that I should resign".
Thereafter, he said, he went to the Governor and submitted his resignation.
Essentially, Roy has been a low profile politician, who likes to read, playing chess and fish.
In an over two decades long career in politics, Roy has avoided media glare. He has a doctorate in economics from the Shillong-based North Eastern Hill University and worked as a professor for some time before joining politics.
Elected as a legislator for the fifth consecutive time, Roy, the president of the United Democratic Party (UDP), first won the Shella assembly seat bordering Bangladesh as an independent candidate in 1987.
Born on 10th November, 1954, Roy's first bid to enter the Meghalaya Assembly was backed by the then Alliance for Reconstruction of Meghalaya, which comprised small parties. Roy was re-elected in 1993, and then joined the United Democratic Party just before the 1998 state assembly elections. He retained the Shella seat for three consecutive terms on UDP ticket.
He has held several important portfolios in the D D Lapang ministry, including that of Health, Education, Finance and Planning Implementation, before being elevated to the rank of deputy chief minister
Roy was chosen as the chief ministerial candidate despite the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance having three former chief ministers E K Mawlong (UDP), P A Sangma (NCP) and J D Rymbai (Congressman UDP leader) in its fold.
Sangma will replace him after two-and-a-half years.