A day before vote counting in Meghalaya, the Chief Minister met his Assam counterpart at midnight amid exit polls forecast of a hung assembly, people familiar with the matter said.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, who heads the National People’s Party (NPP), had decided to fight the assembly election solo, though his party and Himanta Biswa Sarma’s BJP had been running the state government together under the banner of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.
Mr Sangma and Mr Sarma discussed the possibility of a post-election alliance in the hush-hush meeting between the two leaders at a hotel in Assam’s main city Guwahati, sources said.
Mr Sangma returned to Tura, his hometown in Meghalaya, this morning, sources said.
Mr Sarma is also known as the BJP’s northeast strategist for his big contribution in defeating the Congress in 2016 and bringing the first BJP government in the region. His meeting with the Meghalaya Chief Minister will not go unnoticed as it would lead to speculation that something is in the works, most likely an alliance.
The meeting is being downplayed as two friends catching up. “Sangma was in Guwahati last night and Sarma, his friend, came and visited him at the hotel. They had a one-to-one meeting,” an unnamed source told news agency PTI.
The Assam Chief Minister heads the BJP-led North East Development Alliance, or NEDA, which announced it will not team up with either the Congress or the Trinamool Congress to form government if such a situation arises.
Mr Sarma on Tuesday said that apart from Meghalaya, he is confident there will be no hung assembly in Tripura and Nagaland, the two other northeast states where assembly election was held.