Meghalaya witnessed a hung verdict on Saturday. The Congress bagged 21 seats, which is 10 short of the magic number. In 2013, the Congress bagged 29 seats.
Breathing down the neck of the Congress is the National People's Party which won 19 seats. Both the NPP and Congress would now bank on the independents and smaller parties to form the government.
The next few days would see hectic political activity in the state. The Congress in fact would be desperate as it had focused all its resources in Meghalaya. The party was accused by its own leaders in Nagaland and Tripura for ignoring the states.
The complete focus on Meghalaya did not seem enough for the Congress and it would want to leave no stone unturned and desperately try and avoid a repeat of Goa and Manipur where it failed to install its government despite being the single largest party.
The BJP which won just two seats has also sent its Northeast strategist, Himanta Biswa Sarma to Shillong in a bid to keep the Congress out of the race. For the Congress, it is Ahmed Patel and Kamal Nath who are leading the talks.
Although the BJP and NPP fought separately, the saffron party would extend its hand of support. The BJP and NPP are allies at the Centre and in Manipur. Another party to watch out for is the United Democratic Party, which bagged six seats. The UDD which is also part of the BJP led North East Democratic Alliance contested the elections with the Hill State People's Democratic Party which won two seats. If the BJP manages to stitch up an alliance under the NPP, then the tally would go to 29.
The Congress however expressed confidence that it would form the government. Kamal Nath said, the will of the people of Meghalaya will be reflected in our Congress government. We are in touch with everybody. Everybody is in touch with us.