Former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangama’s son, Conrad Sangma, is all set to create history as he has emerged as North East Democratic Alliance’s top choice for Meghalaya. Only other person rumoured to be in the race is Agatha Sangama, his sister and former Lok Sabha member from Tura constituency. However, senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that Sangma will become Meghalaya’s next Chief Minister.
Conrad is being credited for his party’s impressive show in the recently-concluded Assembly polls. Currently serving as an MP from Meghalaya’s Tura, Sangma started his political career in 2008 when he was elected to Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
In the same year, he was inducted as the cabinet minister for finance, power, and tourism in the state government. In 2009, he was elected to lead the opposition benches. He continued as the Leader of Opposition in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly till 2013. After the demise of his father in 2016, he was elected as the Member of Parliament from family’s traditional constituency of Tura.
Apart from politics, Conrad Sangama has also been associated with social work. He is a part of PA Sangma Foundation, which is associated with Education sector and Environment sector and runs four colleges in rural areas of Meghalaya. Conrad is also serving as President, Meghalaya Cricket Association, Sports Academy and PA Sangma Foundation.
Forming a government in Meghalaya has become a battle of prestige for BJP and Congress members. The Congress, which was ruling the state for the past 10 years, emerged as the single largest party with 21 seats in the 60-seat Assembly. However, the BJP, which was adamant of forming a non-Congress government, had a clear advantage in the state. The saffron party was already in alliance with the NPP at the Centre and in Manipur, while the United Democratic Party (UDP) is part of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
The NPP bagged 19, UDP 6 and BJP 2 seats in the state, taking the total number to 27, 4 short of the majority. Playing the role of kingmaker was former Congress MLA Pynshngain N Syiem-led People’s Democratic Front, which has won four seats. PDF too announced its support for NPP led alliance, paving way for Sangma to become the chief minister.