Sangma to be sworn-in as Meghalaya chief minister March 5

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 14:50 hrs

Shillong, Mar 1 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister-designate Mukul Sangma met Governor R.S. Mooshahary Friday and staked claim to form the new government. He is likely to be sworn-in March 5 for his second stint.

Sangma handed over to the governor a letter of unconditional support of the two Nationalist Congress Party legislators and eight Independent legislators to the government.

Sangma was earlier elected as the leader of the Congress legislature party. The Congress emerged the largest party with 29 seats in the 60-member house.

"Tentatively by Tuesday (March 5) the swearing-in would be held after the notification from the Election Commission is issued. The formation of the ministry would be worked out before hand," Sangma told journalists after meeting the governor.

"The people have given us a clear mandate and we assure that all the points in our election manifesto, especially employment to youth and women, would be the government's priority and would be fulfilled at the earliest," he added.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, deputed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to oversee the government formation, accompanied Sangma to Raj Bhavan along with senior Congress leaders, including state party chief D.D. Lapang.

Asked whether the two NCP and some of the Independent legislators will be inducted into his new ministry, Sangma said: "These are other exercises which we will be doing as we proceed further. We will be discussing with them and to know their minds as to what are their expectations. We intend to share the responsibility in serving the people."

Assuring that he would ensure a stable government, he said: "We have done in the past and we will do it in the future and I am sure we will be able to handle the situation in a manner which is good for the state."

"Our focus is completely on the issue of development... I find no time in engaging in activities which actually lead to instability. We are all going to engage ourselves in development in the best interest of the people."

On his government's top priority, Sangma said: "We have made a humble beginning in addressing the core issue of backwardness and poverty. We have also reflected our intention of addressing the core issue of unemployment - addressing the root cause of the problem which often leads to militancy."

"Manifesto is quite comprehensive, these are promises which are not easy to be fulfilled. Focus on fulfilling the promises and addressing issues in a comprehensive and holistic manner."

He also appealed to the people of the state for their support and cooperation. "I am sure the people deserve a better future and that is what we exactly want to deliver," he said.

Earlier in the day, Sangma submitted to Mooshahary his resignation as chief minister of the outgoing Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government, which he led from April 2010.

The governor asked Sangma to continue in office till alternate arrangements are made.

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