Conrad becomes Meghalaya CM
Shillong: Backed by the BJP and regional parties, National People's Party(NPP) chief Conrad Sangma was on Tuesday sworn in as the chief minister of Meghalaya, heading a 12-member Cabinet and bringing an end to 10 years of Congress rule.
Son of late PA Sangma, a former Lok Sabha Speaker and union minister, Conrad Sangma, 40, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ganga Prasad at the Raj Bhavan. PA Sangma was also the chief minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990.
Conrad Sangma is the 12th chief minister of Meghalaya. He is currently a Lok Sabha member from Tura.
Apart from Sangma, 11 other cabinet ministers were also sworn in by the governor.
The BJP, with just two seats, outmanoeuvred the Congress — the single largest party — in cobbling up numbers to form the coalition government.
Congress bagged 21 seats in the 60-member assembly.
The ministers are Prestone Tynsong, Comingone Ymbon, Sniawbhalang Dhar and Conrad's brother James P K Sangma (all from NPP), Metbah Lyngdoh, Lakhmen Rymbui, Kyrmen Shylla (all UDP), Banteidor Lyngdoh (PDF), Hamlet Dohling (PDF), Samlin Malngiang (HSPDP) and A L Hek (BJP). Shylla, 26, is a first MLA and is the youngest minister.
A graduate in Entrepreneurial Management and Finance from the University of London, Conrad Sangma, had met the governor on Sunday and staked claim to form the government with the support of 34 MLAs.
Sangma had claimed he had the support of 19 MLAs of NPP, six of United Democratic Party (UDP), four of the People's Democratic Front (PDF), two each of the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP and an Independent. Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate on Saturday with the Congress marginally ahead of the NPP, an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Sangma on becoming the chief minister.
"Congratulations to @SangmaConrad on taking oath as Meghalaya CM. I also congratulate all others who were sworn in today. My best wishes to this team as it begins to work towards fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of the people of Meghalaya," he tweeted.
An overwhelmed Soradini K Sangma, mother of Conrad Sagma, said it was a dream come true for the family.
Soradini Sangma was present at the sprawling greens of the Raj Bhavan to watch her son take the oath.
"I am a little emotional. It was a dream of his late father Purno A Sangma to see his son rise to this level. God is kind," she said. After the swearing-in ceremony, Sangma told reporters his government is clear about its agenda which is good governance. "... We feel that governance has been missing and it is important to get everything on track and of course many sectors that need to be looked into," he said.
"I want to say that we as a cabinet, as a government and in fact all the MLAs and political parties will work together to take our state forward," he added. Shah also took to Twitter to congratulate Sangma.
"Congratulations to the newly sworn in CM of Meghalaya Sri @SangmaConrad and his team. I am sure that the new government of Meghalaya under the central guidance of PM@narendramodi ji will act as a double engine to bring peace, progress and prosperity in the state of Meghalaya," Shah tweeted.
Conrad Sangma's electoral stint began in 2008 when he was elected to the state assembly and served one year as the finance minister in the Donkupar Roy-led non-Congress government. He served as the leader of the opposition in the assembly from 2010 to 2013.
Outgoing chief minister and Congress leader Mukul Sangma said, "I wish the new team my best wishes and I hope they do justice to the people and the state befitting to the expectations and aspirations of those who have given them the mandate."