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Cong-NCP heading to form govt in M’laya
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAY 6:
Published on 7 May. 2009 12:42 AM IST
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Finally, a Congress-NCP coalition is emerging to form a popular government, even as the UPA government was all set to revoke the 49-day old President’s Rule in Meghalaya today. “Talks are on for the formation of a new government with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh taking the initiative,” former Meghalaya Finance Minister and NCP Spokesman, Conrad K Sangma said. Sources in the AICC and the NCP also revealed that the new equation would consist only of Congress and NCP leaving out the regional parties and other Independent members, who were supporting both the major parties earlier. Congress has 26 legislators while NCP has 14 legislators making a total strength of 40 legislators of the possible new alliance in an effective strength of 55 out of the 60-member House. Four “erring” members including Sanbor Shullai (NCP), Paul Lyngdoh (Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement) and two Independent members – Ismail R Marak and Limison D Sangma were earlier disqualified under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution for shifting allegiance to the opposition Congress. Of the 10 elected United Democratic Party (UDP) legislators, the lone woman in the assembly and UDP legislator Ampareen M Lyngdoh quit as member of the Assembly and joined the Congress. In the wake of the ongoing political deadlock, the Prime Minister last night invited former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader Purno A Sangma and discussed the political stalemate in view of expiry of President’s Rule on May 19. “For the sake of political stability and in the interest of the people,” Conrad, the youngest scion of Sangma, said “the NCP is bound to work together with the Congress”. “I don’t think any party is ready for mid-term poll and there should be a solution to put to an end to this political stalemate,” Conrad said over the phone from Delhi. Though, all seems to be going well at the Congress high command level on the new political arithmetic with the NCP, a section of the Congress however expressed unhappiness of the tie-up with the NCP. “Whatever it may be, we are a disciplined national party and we will have to abide by the orders of our party high command,” Congress Legislature Party Leader DD Lapang said, adding that the formation of the Congress-NCP coalition was discussed between the top leadership of both the national parties. Stung by the possible alliance between the sworn political enemies in Meghalaya, the United Democratic Party (UDP), a major ally in the dismissed NCP-backed Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government, termed the Congress-NCP combination as an “opportunistic politics.” “We didn’t expect Sangma to decide this alone, even when he is still the Chairman of the MPA, a non-Congress alliance and his decision amounts to political betrayal of the people,” dejected former Chief Minister and UDP President Donkupar Roy said. “I have tried to contact him and confirm on the new alliance, but Mr Sangma was not available,” Roy said. President’s Rule was imposed in Meghalaya on March 19, two days after the NCP-backed MPA government won the vote of confidence in the floor of the House with Assembly Speaker exercising his “voting rights” in MPA’s favour. Before the trust-vote, Lanong invalidated the votes of fives members, including his deputy Sanbor Shullai for shifting their allegiance to the opposition Congress.

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