Shillong: National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad K Sangma was sworn in as chief minister of Meghalaya on Tuesday along with 11 members of his council of ministers.
Sangma, who became the chief minister of the northeastern state for the second time in a row, said his focus will be on sectors that can provide large-scale employment.
Prestone Tynsong and Sniawbhalang Dhar, both from the NPP, took oath as deputy chief ministers, underlining the strength of the regional party in the rainbow coalition which has come to power again. Tynsong was the deputy CM in the previous government as well.
The BJP’s Alexander Laloo Hek, UDP’s Paul Lyngdoh and Kyrmen Shylla, and Shakliar Warjri of the HSPDP also took oath as ministers.
In all, eight MLAs from the NPP, two from the UDP and one each from the BJP and the HSPDP were administered the oath of office and secrecy as ministers by Governor Phagu Chauhan at Raj Bhavan.
According to the rule, Meghalaya with a 60-member assembly cannot have more than 12 ministers including the CM.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the swearing-in ceremony as did BJP president J P Nadda.
Modi later tweeted: “Congratulations to those who took oath. Best wishes to them in their pursuit of taking Meghalaya to new heights of growth.
Interestingly, the saffron party had described Sangma’s government as the most corrupt in the run-up to the election but was among the first parties to strike a post-poll deal to set up a government in the northeastern state.
The NPP became the single-largest party winning 26 seats in the recently held election. The UDP bagged 11 seats while the BJP, HSPDP, and the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) got two seats each. Besides them, two Independent members also extended support to Sangma.
The ruling coalition on Monday decided that it would be called the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance 2.0 since its partners are the same as the previous one.
We are exploring many options apart from improving infrastructure, road, power and water connectivity We are prioritising our focus on areas and sectors where we can provide large-scale employment to people, Sangma told PTI after taking the oath.
Health, education, agriculture and tourism are also important sectors, he said.
Foundation for the works in all these sectors have been laid in the past five years and now will work aggressively in those sectors, Sangma said.
About the BJP terming his previous term as the most corrupt before the February 27 assembly election, Sangma said, In coalition governments, partners may have different views on issues. We should find ways to solve issues and work with better coordination as a team.
On coal mining, he said that four groups have received clearances and their plan is also expected to get clearance in a couple of months before scientific mining of coal in this hill state resumes.
Congratulating Sangma and others who took oath as ministers, Nadda tweeted: Under the guidance of PM @narendramodi Ji & your able governance Meghalaya will soar the heights of success once again. My best wishes for a successful tenure.