NPP chief Conrad Sangma, backed by BJP, takes oath as Meghalaya CM

Meghalaya map as seen in Election Commission of India site

The ceremony was attended by Union minister for home Rajnath Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP's strategist for the northeast Himanta Biswa Sarma and a host of other dignitaries.

Conrad Sangma, head of the National People's Party (NPP), who is all set to become the new chief minister of the hill state, got a jolt on Monday when one of his alliance partners, the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) with two MLAs, decided not to be a part of the government.

Admitting that heading a coalition government is a "challenging task", the newly sworn-in chief minister appealed to all the members of the ruling alliance to work together as a team to ensure that Meghalaya reached its new heights. But the parties who are supporting us are committed to work for the welfare of the people and the state.

PM Narendra Modi congratulated Sangma on becoming the chief minister. His father has served as a speaker in Lok Sabha from 1996 to 1998 and as Meghalaya chief minister from 1988 to 1990. The NPP leader made a dramatic turnaround in the Assembly Election and was selected as the Chief Minister.

However, the two HSPDP MLAs did sign the letter of support for Sangma which was handed over to Governor Ganga Prasad on Sunday.

The Congress on Saturday won 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly, making it the single largest party, but it was 10 seats short of an absolute majority. Of the eleven ministers who took oath, four are from then Mukul Sangma-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) government.

Speaking to media persons after the first cabinet meeting of the newly-installed Government, Conrad Sangma said that the state was facing challenge when it came to execution of projects. "But their (HSPDP) legislators are very much with us, they have expressed their opinion and both are here with us", Conrad Sangma told journalists.

The Hill State People's Democratic Party, which is a BJP ally, had earlier said it has always stood for a non-Congress and non-BJP government, IANS reported.

Banteidor Lyngdoh and Hamletson Dohling of the People's Democratic Front (PDF) also took oath as ministers.

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