12 May : Government formation in Meghalaya may be delayed following reported disagreement over ministerial berths between NCP and Congress, which also has kept its doors open to the United Democratic Party."I am expecting a communication from the AICC by this evening. Only after that a clear picture will emerge on the composition of the new ministry," Congress leader and former Chief Minister D D Lapang said over phone from New Delhi today.
Though he was to return to Shillong on Saturday, Congress sources said he deferred it because of the negotiations with the NCP for finalizing the modalities of the alliance.Lapang said he would return to Shillong only after receiving the communication from AICC.
On UDP’s offer to work with Congress, the CLP leader said he did not have any information on this."Only the party high command can decide since UDP had faxed the resolution directly to the AICC. I will welcome any decision of the high command whether it is UDP or NCP," he said.
As the Congress kept its options open, party sources admitted that there were differences with NCP over allotment of portfolios.Congress legislators are opposed to grant five of the 12 ministerial berths to the NCP as demanded by it.
The issue of sharing ministerial berths has been discussed at length by the two parties in Delhi during the past week, but have failed to arrive at a consensus, Congress sources said.The Congress is also facing opposition from a section of its members against the alliance with NCP, with an entire district unit threatening to resign if the party allied with it.UDP legislature party leader J D Rymbai has already made it clear that the party was open to an alliance with the Congress if the talks with the NCP in Delhi fail.