All eyes on poll clash between Meghalaya’s two most prominent political families
Both former Meghalaya chief minister Dr Mukul Sangma and present CM Conrad Sangma are confident of winning the remaining two seats one of which Ampati will go to the polls on May 28india Updated: May 23, 2018 17:06 IST
Election fever in Meghalaya is yet to die down as the war between the two most prominent political families of Garo Hills heads towards an exciting finish.
Both former chief minister Dr Mukul Sangma and present CM Conrad Sangma are confident of winning the remaining two seats one of which – Ampati – will go to the polls on May 28. Elections to the last seat - South Tura – is yet to be announced.
While the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) is buoyed by its thumping victory over the sitting Congress legislator Deborah C Marak and wresting the Williamnagar seat on May 1, the Congress is confident that Dr Sangma’s daughter Miani D Shira will retain Ampati for it. The seat was vacated by her father who chose to retain Songsak instead.
Though there are three candidates in the fray, including an Independent - Subhankar Koch, the showdown is a direct fight between Miani and NPP candidate Clement G Momin, a former school teacher.
The NPP has roped in its cabinet ministers from its coalition partners in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) as well as several senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, including the saffron party’s in charge of Meghalaya Nalin Kohli.
Meghalaya ministers who have joined the campaign trail include deputy CM Prestone Tynsong, Sniawbhalang Dhar, Hamletson Dohling, Samling Malngiang, Banteidor Lyngdoh, Kyrmen Shylla and even State Planning Board Chairman, Lambor Malngiang. Many more are en-route to reinforce the campaign.
The NPP campaign was further bolstered when Kyrmen Shylla, a minister from the United Democratic Party (UDP), told the people that his party will support the ruling party for the full term as it wanted to stay away from the Congress.
“Don’t dare to even think of breaking our relationship with NPP and others. We are not scared of Congress party. We will stand together and ensure progress and prosperity for Meghalaya,” he told a gathering at Murchapani and Garabokmangre under Ampati constituency on Tuesday.
Not to be deterred, the Congress has roped in its legislators including former speaker Charles Pyngrope, ex-minister PT Sawkmie as well as Mohendro Rapsang, George Lyngdoh, HM Shangpliang, Marthon Sangma, Noverfiled R Marakand and even Miani’s legislator mother Dikanchi D Shira so far besides a host of former MLAs.
From the national front, All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Deb has taken to the stage so far to make a clarion call to the people of Ampati to elect Miani. Other national leaders are expected to follow, sources said.
Winning Ampati is crucial for both the NPP and Congress, who each have 20 legislators in the assembly. A win for the Congress, which it is confident of, would mean bouncing back as the single largest party till South Tura is decided.
Conrad Sangma is contesting from that seat, which was vacated by his sister Agatha K Sangma.
As of now, all eyes are on Ampati which Dr Mukul has represented since 25 years and it will be known on May 31 whether his daughter will be able to carry forward the family’s political legacy.