Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Thursday asserted that an individual candidate was more important than a party in the hill state.
The NPP leader, who won from Pynursla constituency, said the party hoped to get an absolute majority, but a different mandate was given by the people.
"In Meghalaya's politics, individual candidates matter more than the party. It is the nominees who win the elections, not the party," Tynsong told PTI after his victory was announced.
"We expected to cross the magic number on our own. We did not expect such a divided mandate," he added.
Though the NPP had run the outgoing government in alliance with five other parties, it fought the 2023 assembly polls alone.
Asked about the next course of action, the deputy chief minister said, "We had hoped for forming the government alone, but the electorate has given a different mandate. We don't have any option but to go for a coalition government."
He, however, declined to comment anything on whether support would be sought from previous allies.
The National People's Party (NPP) led the outgoing Meghalaya government in alliance with UDP, PDF, HSPDP, BJP and NCP.