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Sangma keeps lessor important portfolios with NPP, allies get crucial portfolios

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma retained the key departments for his National Peoples Party, and gave the important politically significant ones to alliance partners Bharatiya Janata Party, Hill State Peoples Democratic Party and United Democratic Party as he allocated portfolios on Thursday.

Sangma kept finance, forest, political, personnel, IT, and mining and geology departments for himself, according to a notification issued by Chief Secretary DP Wahlang.

Prestone Tynsong, one of the two deputy CMs, was allocated home, PWD, district council affairs, and parliamentary affairs departments.

Sniawbhalang Dhar, the other deputy CM, was given charge of urban affairs, transport, industries, and prison and correctional services.

M Ampareen Lyngdoh, the only woman in the state cabinet, was allocated health and family welfare, law, information and public relations, and agriculture departments.

BJP minister AL Hek was given veterinary, fisheries, printing and stationery, and the secretariat administration departments.

UDP’s Paul Lyngdoh was given charge of social welfare, tourism, arts and culture departments, while his party colleague Kyrmen Shylla was allocated excise, revenue and legal metrology departments.

HSPDP’s Shakliar Warjri was handed sports and youth affairs, labour, registration and stamps departments, the order stated.

The portfolios were announced after Sangma chaired the first cabinet meeting of the new government.

Meanwhile, UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh was appointed chairman of the state planning board.

Explaining the portfolio allocations, the chief minister told PTI, “It was a little late when the UDP’s support came, and allocation of the cabinet berths was almost done.”

The People’s Democratic Front with two MLAs did not get any ministerial berth, he said.

He said the two BJP MLAs will share the cabinet berth equally during the five-year period.

The two HSPDP MLAs will also do the same, he said.

“We are trying to balance things out. There are concerns but at the end of the day we have to keep in mind what is in the best interest of the state, and that should be the primary criteria to decide on how we move forward,” Sangma said.