Former Chief Minister Donkupar Roy of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government and opposition Congress legislator Winnerson D. Sangma are in the race to occupy the top post of the Assembly.
Roy, the longest serving legislator, is also the President of the United Democratic Party, which is the key partner in the National People's Party-led government. Sangma is a two-time Congress legislator from Salmanpara constituency in the West Garo Hills.
Sangma was sworn in as the 12th Chief Minister of Meghalaya on March 6 after six non-Congress parties, include one Independent came together and formed the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance coalition government.
"The MDA is confident that its nominee Donkupar Roy will be elected as the Speaker of the Assembly and the Chief Minister will prove that he enjoys absolute majority in the Assembly," Home Minister James Sangma told IANS.
He said the six-party MDA coalition includes 19 members from the National People's Party, six from the United Democratic Party, four from the the People's Democratic Front, two each from the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP, one from the Nationalist Congress Party besides one Independent.
The NPP, which won 19 assembly seats in the just concluded polls, is the second largest party after the Congress with 21 seats.
Meghalaya is another state, after Manipur and Goa, where the Congress has not been able to forge a post-poll alliance with any of the regional parties despite emerging as the single-largest party.
"We are hoping against hope (Speaker's election). There are a few friends at the other side and let us see tomorrow," former Excise Minister and Congress Spokesperson, Zenith M. Sangma told IANS.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)