Discordant note by BJP ally in Meghalaya before swearing-in
March 05, 2018  23:54
The Hills State Peoples Democratic Party, a constituency of the National People's Party-led coalition that would form government in Meghalaya, today said the Bharatiya Janata Party should have been kept out of the alliance as the regional parties together had the required number.

A party meeting also decided that the two MLAs it has will not take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Conrad K Sangma as chief minister tomorrow, HSPDP president Ardent Basaiawmoit told reporters in Shillong.

The HSPDP has won two seats in the election, but its president has lost to an independent candidate by only 76 votes.

"Our stand right from before the election was to have a non-Congress non-BJP government. We now see there is a possibility to have such a government where the NPP-led coalition could have easily been formed with 32 MLAs," Basaiawmoit said.

In the 60-member Assembly with an effective strength of 59, at least 30 seats is required to form majority. Conrad K Sangma has the support of 34 MLAs - his own party the NPP (19 seats), the BJP (2), the UDP (6), the PDF (4), the HSPDP (2) and an Independent.

The Congress was the single largest party bagging 21 seats.

The HSPDP chief said the regional parties together had the required number to form government. The party's two MLAs are signatories to the letter of support to the NPP-led coalition government.

Basaiawmoit led central executive leaders of the party to the residence of United Democratic Party president Donkupar Roy expressing 'disappointment and disagreement' to the proposal made by the UDP that Conrad should be the CM.

The HSPDP had a pre-poll alliance with the UDP.

"This decision was taken unilaterally by the UDP and without consulting us. It is the job of the alliance to decide who should lead the government," he said. He said the HSPDP is waiting for a response from the UDP on the expressions made by the party. The party also prefers an elected MLA of the NPP to take the post of the chief minister and Conrad K Sangma who is an MP, he said.  -- PTI
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