Meghalaya CM wins by-election, defeats Congress

Tura (Meghalaya), Aug 27: Meghalaya Chief Minister and National Peoples Party (NPP) candidate Conrad Sangma on Monday won the by-election from the South Tura Assembly constituency by a huge margin.

But former Speaker Martin Danggo, who resigned from the Congress and joined the NPP, lost to Pius Marwein of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Ranikor constituency.

The by-election in South Tura was necessitated after Agatha Sangma resigned to pave the way for her brother Conrad to contest in order to retain the post of Chief Minister.

Conrad, the youngest son of the late Purno A. Sangma, defeated Charlotte W. Momin of the Congress by 8,421 votes in a four-cornered contest.

The NPP candidate secured 13,656 votes while Charlotte got 5,235 votes.

Conrad, who was sworn as the 12th Chief Minister of Meghalaya on March 6, was a non-elected member of the 60-member Assembly.

I won because people voted for development, he told IANS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Conrad on his win, saying: Congratulations for the win from South Tura, Chief Minister! Best wishes in your endeavours to take Meghalaya to new heights of growth.

Conrad assumed the top post of Meghalaya, which his father had held for a short period, after the regional United Democratic Party (UDP), People’s Democratic Front and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) decided to support the NPP in forming the government on condition that an NPP leader would be the Chief Minister.

In Ranikor, Danggo, who had represented the constituency for five consecutive times, lost to novice Marwein by 2,896 votes.

Marwein polled 13,183 votes while Danggo bagged 10,287. People’s Democratic Front (PDF) candidate P.N. Syiem and Jackiush A. Sangma of the Congress secured 1,978 and 938 votes respectively.

Both the UDP and PDF are part of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance coalition government.

Danggo was elected in the February general Assembly polls on the Congress ticket by defeating Marwein by 2,002 votes.

With this victory, the NPP and the UDP has increased its strength to 20 and eight respectively in the Meghalaya Assembly.

Other parties which are supporting the Conrad-led government are PDF(four members) the Bharatiya Janata Party and HSPDP (two each) and Nationalist Congress Party (one), besides two Independents.

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