National People’s Party chief Conrad Sangma will take oath as the chief minister of Meghalaya on Tuesday. A number of regional parties and the Bharatiya Janata Party supported his National People’s Party to beat the Congress and form the government.
The Congress won 21 seats in the 60-member Assembly, making it the single-largest party, but it was 10 seats short of an absolute majority.
The regional National People’s Party came in second with 19 seats. It is backed by the United Democratic Party, which won six constituencies, the People’s Democratic Front, which got four, the BJP and the Hill State Socialist Democratic Party two seats each and an independent candidate, taking the alliance’s tally to 34 seats.
BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav said the new Meghalaya government will be sworn in on March 6.
Hours after the NPP-led coalition staked claim to form the government, Tourism Minister KJ Alphons told News18 that the BJP’s priority was to ensure that the Congress lost in the North East.
“Look at our campaign: we only wanted to ensure that the Congress got fewer votes,” he said. “Of course, we wanted to win, but simultaneously, we wanted to ensure that the Congress should not come to power.”
The tourism minister had headed the BJP’s campaign in Meghalaya and was made an observer ahead of government formation.
Alphons said the BJP did not give “much thought” to which regional party would win, “but we didn’t say one word against them during our campaign”. He added that the coalition was “expected”, and that the BJP was “very happy with the outcome”.