Coalition politics to continue in Meghalaya: NPP

Shillong: The Opposition National Peoples' Party (NPP) in Meghalaya on Monday said coalition politics will continue in the state despite tall claims by the ruling Congress and its ally United Democratic Party (UDP) about garnering enough votes to rule on their own.

"Meghalaya will continue with its age-old coalition politics in the forthcoming elections too," NPP leader and former Leader of Opposition Conrad K Sangma said while releasing his party manifesto in the state party office here.

"No party will come out successfully to become a single largest party in the state and no party will even get a one- third majority in the House," Conrad opined, citing fluidity in the political scene prevailing in the state.

Meghalaya set the trend in coalition politics way back in 1978 when regional parties came together to prevent Congress, which had a strength of 20 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly, from forming a government.

Party state president W R Kharlukhi endorsed Conrad's statement and squarely blaming the Congress for creating instability in the state referring to the snatching of power from the NCP-led coalition government in 2009.

"The Congress is responsible for creating instability in the state," Kharlukhi said, adding that division within the Congress will cost the party in the February 23 elections.

"Their wrong choices of candidates, the factions within the party leadership are a boon for us," he said.

While the party is fielding 33 candidates for the Assembly elections, Conrad said the party also has an informal tie with several independent candidates.

In 2008, 15 MLAs were elected on NCP tickets after which 13 merged with NPP in Shillong soon after P A Sangma lost the presidential elections in July last year.