Guwahati :NPP’s Conrad Sangma takes oath as Meghalaya chief minister in Shillong.

National People’s Party (NPP) chief and son of former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangam, Conrad Sangma on Tuesday took oath as the 12th Meghalaya chief minister in Shillong. Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to Sangma and 11 ministers at the Raj Bhavan.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah were present during the oath-taking ceremony of the National People’s Party (NPP)-led government.

The NPP managed to win 19 seats in the Assembly elections and got the support of 15 more legislators — including six from the United Democratic Party (UDP), four from People’s Democratic Party (PDP), two from BJP and one Independent legislator — taking the strength of the combined alliance to 32 in the 60-member House.

“I congratulate Conrad Sangma. There was a perception that only Congress party can survive in the northeast but now that BJP has gained victory here that perception will change”, says Union Minister Rajnath Singh.

 Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Assam BJP president Ranjit Dass are likely to receive Rajnath Singh and Shah at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport near Guwahati.

Sangma met Governor Ganga Prasad and staked claim to form the government with the support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. “The governor has extended invitation to Conrad Sangma to form the government as he has the support of 34 MLAs, a Raj Bhavan official said.”The governor has invited me to form the government as I have the numbers,” Sangma had said.

The Congress, despite being the single largest party in Meghalaya, was unable to stich up an alliance and failed to form the government in the state. The party, which has been in power in the state for the last 10 years, won 21 seats out the 59 that went to polls on February 27.

Breaking his silence on the defeat in three northeast states, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said that the party was committed to winning back the people’s trust and hit out at the BJP, accusing it of “usurping” power through proxy in Meghalaya.

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.