Dr Mukul Sangma on Tuesday took oath as the chief minister of Meghalaya, replacing veteran Congress leader D D Lapang, who quit as the Congress Legislative Party leader on Monday night after losing the support of 21 of the Congress' 28 Members of Legislative Assembly in the 60-member state assembly.
Governor Ranjit Sekhar Musahary administered the oath of office to Dr Sangma and three other cabinet ministers at a ceremony held at the Raj Bhawan in Shillong today afternoon.
Bindo M Lanong, a senior legislator of United Democratic Party, was sworn in as the deputy chief minister. UDP MLA J Antonius Lyngdoh and Independent legislator Abu Taher Mondal were sworn in as cabinet ministers. The UDP, with nine MLAs, is a key constituent of the ruling Meghalaya United Alliance led by the Congress.
Dr Sangma, 45, was elected to the current assembly from Ampatigiri constituency in Garo hills area. He was the deputy chief minister in the last cabinet headed by D D Lapang.
Dr Sangma is the fourth CM of the politically volatile hill state since the last assembly elections in 2008.
Immediately after the assembly polls, Lapang became the chief minister on March 4 that year after the Congress emerged as the single largest party, but Lapang failed to prove his majority in the House and had to step down after only 15 days.
The United Democratic Party then formed the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government with support from the Nationalist Congress Party. Dr Donkupar Roy was sworn in as the chief minister on March 19, 2008, and the government led by him lasted for an year before it was reduced to a minority government. President's Rule was imposed in the state on March 18, 2009.
On May 12, 2009, D D Lapang became the chief minister once again, heading the Congress-led MUA government with support from the UDP, the Hill State People's Democratic Party, the Khun Hynnewtrap National Awakening Movement and three Independent MLAs.