Congress rejects NCP’s pre-poll alliance in Meghalaya


Shillong : Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Thursday rejected the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) proposal for pre-poll alliance with the Congress for the next assembly elections in the state.

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Meghalaya is scheduled to go for assembly polls in February-March next year.

“The Congress has always gone alone and the party is strong enough to contest the polls alone,” Sangma told journalists.

“It is time for the state to have single-party government. People of the state are mature enough for their party, which is in conformity with the aspiration of the people,” he said.

Coalition governments in Meghalaya have come and gone for the last more than three decades.

On Tuesday, NCP Central Observer for northeastern states and West Bengal, Robert Kharshiing proposed a grand alliance with Meghalaya’s ruling Congress and other regional parties in the state to take on former colleague P.A. Sangma’s newly-launched National People’s Party (NPP).

“The NCP is a coalition partner of the Congress at the centre and Maharashtra. Both parties had a pre-poll alliance and therefore forging an alliance with the Congress in Meghalaya shouldn’t be a problem,” Kharshiing told IANS.

With Sangma’s exit, the NCP-Congress ties in Meghalaya would set a new tone. “I will meet Chief Minister Mukul Sangma soon … and explore this idea,” Kharshiing said.

The NCP, of which Sangma was a key member until he contested against Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential polls, is also eyeing a pre-poll alliance with the regional United Democratic Party and Hill State People’s Democratic Party – now coalition partners of the Congress in the Meghalaya United Alliance government.

“I am hundred percent sure that the Congress high command will accept our proposal (pre-poll alliance) and I will be speaking to leaders of other regional parties,” Kharshiing added.

Sangma launched the NPP in Meghalaya Friday. His sons James K. Sangma and Conrad K. Sangma are among 12 NCP legislators who joined the new party.

In the 60-member assembly, the NCP has 14 legislators including suspended legislator Adolf Lu Hitler R. Marak.