Governor invites MPA to form government in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Mar 19 (UNI) Meghalaya Governor S S Sidhu today invited the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) combine, Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA), to form the next government.

MPA parliamentary leader and UDP president Donkupar Roy will be sworn in at Raj Bhawan this evening after Chief Minister D D Lapang tendered his resignation after he presided over the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting this morning.

''I am pleased to inform you that the governor has appointed Donkupar Roy as the new Chief Minister,'' NCP general secretary and MLA Purno A Sangma told reporters at Raj Bhawan after staking claim to form the government.

Currently there are only 59 seats in the 60-member Assembly as election to Baghmara seat was countermanded following death of a candidate. Though Congress has emerged as the single largest party, but was short of just six seats to cross the majority threshold in the House.

Mr Lapang, however, roped in three Independent MLAs and increased its tally to 28 seats and formed Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA).

Infact, the Congress required just three more legislators to tip the balance in their favour but failed to sway any.

On the other hand, five non-Congress parties, under the banner of the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) has 31 legislators and is jubiliant with Mr Lapang stepping down.

The MPA is all set to form the next government. It comprises of NCP(14), UDP(11), Hill State People's Democratic Party (2), one each from the BJP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement and two Independent MLAs.

''The Congress-led MUA could not muster enough support and the CLP meeting this morning felt that I should resign,'' Mr Lapang said after tendering his resignation.

He felt that the rival MPA will not last long as it is a ''bundle of contradictions and will not last three months.'' ''Meghalaya needs a stable government and I don't see stability in the MPA, they have factions and I am sure they will come down,'' Mr Lapang asserted.

However, former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma said the MPA government would try to ''fulfill all the aspirations of the people.'' ''Lapang will have to wait for five years and I am not surprised by what he said as it is in the Congress culture to topple non-Congress government,'' Mr Sangma added.

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