Meghalaya home minister James Sangma, sister Agatha accused of bribing voters ahead of bypoll | india news | Hindustan Times
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Meghalaya home minister James Sangma, sister Agatha accused of bribing voters ahead of bypoll

In the FIR filed at Ampati police station, Congress candidate Miani D Shira accused the siblings of “violation of election code of conduct and misuse of power”.

india Updated: May 26, 2018 18:44 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya,Home Minister,James
NPP candidate James Sangma displays victory sign after winning in Dadenggre constituency in the Meghalaya assembly elections on March 3, 2018. (HT File Photo)

The Congress on Saturday lodged a case against Meghalaya home minister James K Sangama and his MLA-sister Agatha K Sangama, both of the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), for allegedly offering bribe to voters two days before the bypoll to Ampati assembly seat.

In the FIR filed at Ampati police station, Congress candidate Miani D Shira accused the siblings of “violation of election code of conduct and misuse of power”.

In her complaint, she said they “tried to enter people’s home and bribe them with money in favour of votes for their National People’s Party (NPP) candidate (Clement G Momin)”.

Chief minister Conrad Sangma, who heads the NPP, was not available for comments. HT tried to reach James and Agatha, a former Union minister, but their phones were switched off. Conrad’s PRO said he cannot comment on the matter.

According to Miani, someone from the house alerted Congress workers who immediately reached there and along with village elders, tried to prevent the wrongdoing. However, the security personnel of the home minister came to his rescue and instead, took the Congress workers and a “few vehicles captive”.

She also said that the escort party of the minister searched the Congress workers’ vehicles twice but did not find anything. “Later on they placed sharp weapons from their own vehicles and clicked a picture,” she claimed.

Miani said she filed the FIR at 2 am as repeated calls to the official poll complaint number failed to get any response. “A just investigation and inquiry is required immediately for free and fair bye-election to take place at Ampati,” she demanded.

When contacted, South West Garo Hills SP, Bobby S W Momin said the case has been lodged as per rules and regulations.

He added that since it was a non-cognisable offence, the FIR will be forwarded to the returning officer, D D Shira to take a call on further acton. “This is a poll related case and hence the Election Commission of India comes into the picture and we will do as directed,” Momin assured.