New Delhi: National People’s Party (NPP) Chief Conrad Sangma took oath as Chief Minister Meghalaya on March 7.
Eleven other members from different parties, including one member from the BJP, took oath in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other key central leaders.
State Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new Ministers.
In a letter, signed by 32 MLAs from BJP, NPP, HSPDP, and two independents extended support to NPP Chief Conrad to lead the new ministry for the second term.
Prestone Tynsong and Sniawbhalang Dhar took oath as Deputy Chief Ministers. Both belong to NPP.
Alexander Laloo Hek (of BJP), Dr Ampareen Lyngdoh (NPP), Paul Lyngdoh (UDP) and Comingone Ymbon (NPP), Abu Taher Mondal, Kyrmen Shylla, Marcuise N Marak and Rakkam A Sangma took oath as Ministers in the new NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance Government.
West Shillong MLA Paul Lyngdoh and Khliehriat MLA, Kyrmen Shylla are from the UDP, while Shakliar Warjri belongs to HSPDP.
The solemn function was also attended, among others, by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda.
There was no representation from the PDF in the ministry though this regional party will also support the new ministry. In more ways than one, the new ministry in Meghalaya shows continuity with the status quo.
In 2018 also, Hek from BJP made it to the ministry but was later replaced by his party colleague Sanbor Shullai. This time, sources say, both the leaders have reached an understanding to share the cabinet berth for two and a half years each.
The HSPDP also adopted the same policy whereby its two MLAs – Shakliar Warjri and Methodius Dkhar, will share the cabinet berth for two and half years each.
On March 2, when the results came in, Prime Minister Modi, in a tweet, said: “Grateful to all those who have supported @BJP4Meghalaya in the Assembly polls. We will keep working hard to enhance the development trajectory of Meghalaya and focus on empowering the people of the state. I am also thankful to our party workers for the effort they put in”.
PDF working president Banteidor Lyngdoh said his party did not set any condition of getting a ministerial berth when it extended support to the Conrad Sangma-led Government.
“I do not aspire to become a cabinet minister this time,” said the previous government’s PDF leader, who was the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister.
Notably, for the NPP-led MDA, as many as 41 out of 59 MLAs that went to the polls could return to the state assembly.
Prime Minister Modi’s attending the swearing-in ceremony has added the much-required feel-good factor for the new dispensation and especially Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
Observers say the new ministry will focus on development and multi-pronged strategies to ensure jobs for youths.
“Conrad Sangma may also like to emulate his illustrious father Late P A Sangma who in his brief stint as chief minister had ushered in an era of monitoring and holding the executive accountable,” says an editorial in the state’s leading newspaper ‘The Shillong Times’.