Verdict on expected lines

Updated on May 14, 2004 08:54 PM IST

The poll verdict from Meghalaya's two Lok Sabha seats, which returned both the incumbent MPs back to Parliament, was on expected lines.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Shillong

The poll verdict from Meghalaya's two Lok Sabha seats, which returned both the incumbent MPs back to Parliament, was on expected lines.

Nationalist Trinamool Congress leader Purno Agitok Sangma retained his Tura seat for the eighth time in a row and Congress veteran PR Kyndiah made a hat-trick from Shillong seat.

Sangma, who reduced his winning margin to 72,763 this time from over 1.13 lakh in the 1999 hustings, had proved that he was still a 'force' to reckon with in the Northeast, notwithstanding the reverses he suffered in the run-up to the polls by losing the NCP symbol to the rival Sharad Pawar faction.

Facing the electors under a different banner, the former Lok Sabha Speaker had also to take on a young Congress leader and state's Information and Technology minister Mukul Sangma.

But the Tura seat, spread over three districts of Garo hills region of Meghalaya, remained largely unaffected by a 'Congress wave' that swept the other parts of the country. But it ate into Sangma's margin.

The victory of Purno Sangma, who has been representing the same seat since mid 1970s except for a brief period, was also somewhat aided by his initiative of facilitating talks with militant group Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) in the Garo hills region.

In the run-up to the polls, the outlawed outfit announced its decision to rally behind Sangma and asked the people to vote for him--which eventually drew flak from the Congress-led state government.

After losing his NCP symbol to the Pawar faction, which raised some doubts on his electoral prospects, Sangma made some swift moves to make up the losses.

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