Congress-led coalition government takes office in Meghalaya

May 13th, 2009 - 3:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shillong, May 13 (IANS) A Congress-led coalition government was sworn in Wednesday in Meghalaya after nearly two months of President’s Rule, with new Chief Minister D.D. Lapang saying it would provide stability and good governance.
“We are committed to providing stability and working for the overall development of Meghalaya with utmost sincerity,” Lapang told journalists soon after being sworn in as chief minister of the new Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) coalition government in the northeastern state.

Governor R.S. Mooshahary administered the oath of office and secrecy to Lapang and six others at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan, marking another coalition government involving the Congress party and the United Democratic Party (UDP).

Two of the ministers - J. Lyngdoh and A.T. Mandal - are from the UDP. In the 60-member house, the ruling MUA has the support of 37 legislators - 28 from the Congress and nine from the UDP.

Mukul Sangma of the Congress party was sworn in as deputy chief minister.

President’s Rule was imposed March 19 following mounting political uncertainty after five legislators withdrew their support from the ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) headed by chief minister Donkupar Roy and announced their decision to back the Congress party.

After the March 2008 assembly elections, Lapang was sworn in as chief minister of a Congress-led coalition government, but resigned 10 days later ahead of a trust vote, having failed to muster majority support.

Soon after, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) managed a deal with UDP leader Donkupar Roy and formed the MPA government in March last year, the second government in 10 days.

The other partners of the MPA were the Hill State People’s Democratic Party, besides smaller regional allies and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Political instability is the hallmark in Meghalaya - the beautiful northeastern state of 2.3 million people, that borders Bangladesh, has seen 10 different governments with varied combinations of political parties, resulting in eight chief ministers between 1998 and 2009.

There were just two occasions when a chief minister was able to complete its full five-year term since Meghalaya attained statehood in 1972.

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