No alliance with Cong in Meghalaya: Sangma

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Shillong, Jul 23 (UNI) A day after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) backed the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in the trust vote, Meghalaya Power Minister and NCP leader Conrad K Sangma today ruled out fresh alliance with the opposition Congress in the state.

''It is our duty to support the UPA, as we have been part of that government for the past four-years,'' Mr Sangma told UNI here, rubbishing Congress' claim of a possible Congress-NCP alliance in this hill state.

Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president OL Nongtdu had told reporters here that the Congress and NCP are inching towards working together in Meghalaya, especially after former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader PA Sangma and his MP daughter Ms Agatha supported the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Yesterday, Ms Agatha, the lone NCP MP from Meghalaya voted for the Congress-led UPA government in the Lok Sabha.

Mr Sangma said Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said that he would never interfere the state affairs of NCP in Meghalaya.

''There have been and will be no pressure from New Delhi on us to work together with the Congress. The Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government will complete its full-term,'' Mr Sangma asserted.

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

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

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP general secretary Purno A Sangma, the chief architect of the MPA government, had said even if there was a pre-poll alliance between the NCP and the Congress at the Centre and in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, it would not apply to Meghalaya.

''The dynamics of Meghalaya politics is entirely different from that of Maharashtra and Karnataka,'' Mr Sangma said.

With 15 legislators, the NCP is backing the United Democratic Party-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government with the support of Hill State People's Democratic Party, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement, BJP and three Independent MLAs.

UNI RRK PL AM AS1651

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