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Conrad meets Himanta for likely ties with BJP

Counting of votes will take  place on March 2 in the state and the exit polls have indicated that there will be no single party clearing the 31-seat mark. But the NPP has reason to smile as all exit polls have shown it is going to be the single largest party.

TURA:

The exit poll results after polling ended on February 27 projecting NPP as the single largest party, sans a clear majority, appears to have pushed Chief Minister and NPP chief Conrad K Sangma to rush to Guwahati to hold parleys with the BJP’s pointsman in the North East and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for a possible post-poll alliance in two days time.

Counting of votes will take  place on March 2 in the state and the exit polls have indicated that there will be no single party clearing the 31-seat mark. But the NPP has reason to smile as all exit polls have shown it is going to be the single largest party.

Falling short of the magic figure of 31, and exit polls showing the BJP could turn out to be the kingmaker with anything between 4 to 6 seats, Sangma dashed off to Guwahati on Tuesday afternoon for a face-to-face closed door meeting with Sarma to work out the finer details of a post-poll alliance in which the NPP would be the bigger partner.

Though top NPP functionaries are tight-lipped about the meeting between the two political bigwigs in Guwahati, highly placed sources within the BJP have indicated that the party will be seeking nothing short of four crucial ministerial berths in the next government of the state.

BJP sources also told this correspondent that should the alliance take off, the central leadership of the BJP in Delhi is in favour of Sangma returning as chief minister.

This will be worrying news for deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, who has for long been eyeing the chair and had even gone to the extent to claim that the position of chief minister from the NPP was still open.

“Despite hiccups, Conrad has been able to steer the alliance all through the last five years. He is the best man for the job,” said a BJP source closely associated with the powers that be.

The swift move by the NPP to reach out to Himanta Biswa Sarma ahead of the results is also in view of alleged attempts being made by opposition parties to leave out the NPP from a post poll alliance.

The main opposition party Trinamool Congress is keen to rope in all regional parties, including the UDP and others, to try and form the next government with support of the BJP.

TMC may be in a direct confrontation with the BJP in its base in West Bengal, but Meghalaya politics is different- where the NPP is their biggest threat to expansion plans.

The problem for the Trinamool will perhaps lie in the exit poll indication that numbers decide the future, and it currently appears to be barely clinging on to single digit.

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