The Congress has sent its top guns to Meghalaya to explore possibilities of government formation there after its losses in two other northeastern states of Tripura and Nagaland. The BJP wrested Tripura, the last Left bastion, and received invitation to be part of the government in Nagaland, while Meghalaya elected a hung Assembly.
Elections were held in 59 seats in all three states due to different reasons despite them having 60-member assemblies and results were announced today.
The Congress emerged as the single largest party in Meghalaya with 21 seats. The party’s senior leaders Ahmed Patel and Kamal Nath left for Shillong this morning to work out possible tie-ups with Independents in to form a government.
No comments were issued by the Congress on its losses as party president Rahul Gandhi is out of the country. It did not win a single seat Tripura and Nagaland.
The Congress defended Gandhi’s visit to Italy over the weekend, saying he had every right to meet his grandmother.
The party’s leader Mukul Wasnik was also present in Shillong, where all the leaders held talks with the local leadership, other parties and Independents.
The Congress’ move comes in the wake of criticism in the past that the party was caught “napping” in Goa and Manipur, where despite emerging as the single-largest party it failed to form governments.
Sources said that Patel and Nath soon after reaching Shillong in the afternoon held discussions with party leaders, including outgoing chief minister Mukul Sangma.
Both the leaders claimed that the Congress would form government in Meghalaya and was working towards it.
The Congress was in power in Meghalaya for five years and it hoped to get a majority this time too, which did not happen, Wasnik said.
No party has got majority and parties with the same ideology should work together to form a government, he said.
Meghalaya is one of the five states currently held by the Congress. The other states are Punjab, Karnataka and Mizoram, and Union territory Puducherry.