Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma wins South Tura bypoll; party loses Ranikor to ally

The counting for for the South Tura and Ranikor bypolls began on Monday amid tight security in Meghalaya.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2018 17:10 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya bypolls,Meghalaya,Meghalaya chief minister
A jubilant chief minister Conrad K Sangma accompanied by his family members, supporters and party workers taking out a victory parade soon after the result to South Tura was declared.(HT Photo)

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said on Monday he will do his best to take the state forward after he defeated his Congress challenger Charlotte W Momin in the by-election to the South Tura assembly seat as predicted.

“We are committed to the people of the state and I would reassure the people that after this particular victory that our commitment is even stronger now and we will do what it takes and we will work with all our commitment to take the state forward,” Sangma said while speaking to reporters.

“It has been a good election. People of Tura have really put their faith and trust it’s not about me alone but it’s about the government,” Conrad said as he thanked the people of South Tura for their mandate.

The National People’s Party (NPP) national president won the seat by securing 13,656 votes while Momin polled 5,235. The seat was held by the chief minister’s sister and former Union minister Agatha Sangma, who had vacated it so that he could enter the assembly.

With Monday’s victory, the ruling NPP has equalled its strength with the opposition Congress at 20 seats each in the 60-member House. The NPP heads a six-party Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government in the state.

The ruling alliance also has the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (2), Nationalist Congress Party (1) along with three regional parties - the United Democratic Party (7), Peoples Democratic Front (4), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (2), and two independent candidates.

Former South Tura MLA John Leslee Sangma could manage only 2,211 votes while the fourth contender Chris Kabul A Sangma mustered a measly 897 votes. The “None of the above” or NOTA option registered 218 votes.

The by-elections were held to two assembly seats in South Tura and Ranikor on August 23.

The bypoll outcome of Ranikor assembly constituency also went on expected lines as five-time Congress legislator Martin M Danggo, who quit the party to join the NPP in July, was ousted by first-timer Pius Marweiñ of the United Democratic Party.

At the end of the seventh and final round of counting, Marweiñ’s victory margin stood at 2,896. Marweiñ polled 13,183 votes while Danggo mustered 10,287 votes. People’s Democratic Front (PDF) president P N Syiem got only 1,978 while the Congress’ Jackiush Sangma took the last spot with a paltry 938 votes. 184 chose NOTA.

Danggo quit the seat and joined NPP after Ranikor was accorded the status of a civil subdivision by the government. However, people chose not to re-elect him after he was termed a turncoat by several. Efforts by the Hindustan Times to reach him in remote Ranikor failed.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 11:09 IST