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NPP-led coalition stakes claim to form new Council in Garo Hills; calls on Governor

Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister and National People’s Party (NPP) chief Conrad K Sangma along with 15 elected MDCs of the Garo Hills Autonomous Council on Saturday called on Governor Satyapal Malik at Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the new executive committee (EC).

The MDCs have grouped together as the Garo Hills Democratic Coalition (GHDC). The coalition comprises 11 NPP MDCs, 3 independents, and 1 GNC MDC.

Somewhat suprisingly, the BJP, which is part of the coalition government in the state, has not joined the coalition.

Meghalaya’s opposition Congress emerged as the single-largest party in the 29-member Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), winning 12 seats while the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) won 11 seats.

The Chairman of the new EC in GHADC will be Rakesh A Sangma, while CEM will be Benedict Marak and deputy CEM Nikman Marak.

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The election for Chairman will be held on Monday.

The election to the GHADC was held on April 12 and the results were declared on Thursday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, a junior partner of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), bagged two seats while the Garo National Council secured one and three seats in favour of the independent candidates.

The United Democratic Party, a local party, could not even open its account. BJP’s Bernard Marak won the key Tura seat, under the South Tura Assembly constituency represented by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma.

Meghalaya has three tribal autonomous district councils — the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, and the GHADC – for the socio-economic development of the tribals, which constitute 86.15 percent of the state’s three million population.

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