Published: Mon, March 05, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

BJP, Cong reach 'kingmaker' UDP HQ at same time for Meghalaya support

BJP, Cong reach 'kingmaker' UDP HQ at same time for Meghalaya support

Shillong: After emerging as the single largest party in Meghalaya, the Congress staked a claim to form a government in the state at a meeting with Governor Ganga Prasad, officials and party leaders said on Sunday.

Other regional parties in the fray include an alliance of former chief minister Donkupar Roy's United Democratic Party (UDP), Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Garo National Council (GNC) as well as People's Democratic Front (PDF).

"Against two MLAs, one ministerial berth will be given to all the political parties supporting the government", he said.

With development being the plank of the NPP, the party leaders feel that they could have done better.

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The movement of top central leaders by the Congress is an attempt to ensure quick negotiations for the support of smaller parties and Independents to form government once results are announced today.

Despite winning 21 seats, the Congress failed to bring to its side the UDP, which is playing the kingmaker with six MLAs, and the 2-MLA-strong Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) - both throwing their weight with the NPP which has 19 MLAs. "We are committed to giving them an alternate form of government and we are moving in that direction only", he told ANI.

The Congress on Saturday rushed three senior leaders to Meghalaya to secure the necessary numbers to form the government in the state.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has strengthened his hold on the Congress during his almost eight years in office.

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Having paid a heavy price for its slothful responses in Manipur and Goa previous year, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday dispatched probably the best possible team of Ahmed Patel, Kamal Nath and Mukul Wasnik to deal with the fractured mandate in Meghalaya. It was Mr. Roy's UDP, whose support turned out to be crucial in tilting the balance for the NPP led coalition.

The Congress won 21 seats out the 59 that went to polls last month.

With voters in the state having a history of voting for individual candidates and not the party they belong to, the poor performance of the BJP is not surprising. In fact, the Congress which has been losing ground in every election since the last three years, was hoping that Mukul would play a "saviour" and help the grand old party retain its hold.

He said the National Democratic Alliance partners have got "big success" in the state.

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