"We would like to ensure that we have stable government. That is priority number 1," Donkupar Roy, the president of United Democratic Party, or UDP told NDTV ahead of a crucial meeting of the party that is set to decide which alliance to support.
The two biggest political formations thrown up in election results for 59 of the assembly's 60 seats yesterday are the Congress and the National People's Party.
The Congress, the largest political party with 21 seats had made a dash for Governor Ganga Prasad house last night to pitch for the invite to form the government, insisting that the Congress would be able to prove the majority on the floor of the assembly.
The National People's Party (NPP), founded by former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma and now led by his son and lawmaker Conrad Sangma, has made sure it is still in the race with 19 members. The NPP is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the centre but had contested the assembly election on its own.
The BJP, which has two members in the new assembly, has indicated its support to the NPP-led coalition to form a non-Congress government.
Mr Roy's UDP too was a part of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and was widely expected to support the NPP.
But Mr Roy appears to be playing hardball.
Stability of a government depends on many factors, he told NDTV.
"And most important is how strong any party is," he said, suggesting that this strength wasn't just in terms of a party's numbers but its ability to hold its flock together.
Mr Roy said leaders of both sides were in touch with him.
The BJP's Northeast strategist Himanta Biswa Sarma - who has been camping in Shillong since yesterday - reportedly held meetings last night with Mr Sangma and UDP chief Dr Donkupar Roy.
Mr Sarma said that it would encourage regional parties to form a government. "All parties should come together, respect people's mandate and form a government which is non-Congress," he told NDTV on Saturday.
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