Shillong, June 06: The Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government today strengthened its position in the 60-member House after former Transport Minister and Independent MLA Ismail R Marak was sworn in as parliamentary secretary.
The MPA, which has the support of 32 Legislators, comprising 15 NCP, 11 UDP, two HSPDP, one each from KHNAM and BJP and two Independents, now increased its strength to 33 Legislators in the 60-member House.
The Congress, which is the main Opposition party, has 27 Legislators with the support of two Independent MLAs - Limison Sangma and A T Mondal.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy sworn in Mr Marak as Parliamentary Secretary in presence of his Cabinet colleagues and senior government officials.
Mr Marak was a Minister of State with Independent charge of the Transport and Home (Passport) in the nine-day-old minority Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government by D D Lapang.
''I have joined the MPA for a better tomorrow and also to get benefits for the people,'' Mr Marak said, even as he claimed that other two Independent legislators - A T Mondal and Limison Sangma - who were presently with the Congress, would soon support the MPA government.
Mr Limison, however, ruled out joining the MPA government and said, ''I am not leaving the MUA camp to join the MPA government.'' Elated with Mr Marak's support to his multi-coalition government, Dr Roy said, ''We expect all the Independent MLAs to join the MPA.
We welcome the Congress (MLAs) if they want to join us.''