Shillong: Meghalaya threw up an interesting mandate on Saturday. The Congress emerged as the largest party, but only marginally ahead of the National People’s Party, providing the smaller parties with an opportunity to play kingmaker. The BJP won 2 seats.
The Congress took of 21 of the 59 seats – two more than the NPP’s. The party had bagged 29 seats in 2013 and later won a by-election to dominate the 60-member Assembly with 30 seats.Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath met governor Ganga Prasad and submitted a letter requesting him to invite the Congress to form the government.
The NPP’s 19 seats, seventeen more than it had won in 2013. It may have the chance to form a coalition government with other non-Congress parties.
The United Democratic Party has seen its tally drop to 6 from the 8 it had won in 2013, and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party’s has slipped from 4 to 2.
Former chief minister Salseng C. Marak was defeated by former deputy chief minister and NPP candidate Timothy D. Shira at Resubelpara and Minister and state Congress chief Celestine Lyngdoh has lost to debutant Jason Mawlong of the People’s Democratic Front, which has tallied four seats.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma has from Ampati and Songsak – while his wife Dikkanchi D. Shira and brother Zenith Sangma have retained the Mahendraganj and Rangsakona seats, respectively.
Former Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope and his son David Nongrum have won the Congress the Nongthymmai and Mawryngkneng seats.
James K. Sangma, from NPP won from Dadenggre, and his younger sister Agatha K. Sangma, prevailed in South Tura. The party is led by their brother Conrad Sangma. The three are children of former Lok Sabha Speaker and erstwhile (Congress) chief minister Purno A. Sangma.
Construction magnate Ngaitlang Dhar’s relatives won on NPP tickets. They are his brother Sniawbhalang Dhar (Nartiang), son Dasakhiat Lamare (Mawhati) and relative Wailadmi Shylla (Jowai).
Donkupar Roy, leader of the Opposition and president of the United Democratic Party, retained his seat but party colleagues Paul Lyngdoh and Jemino Mawthoh lost from West Shillong and Nongthymmai.
HSPDP chief and Nongkrem MLA Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit lost against former MLA and Independent candidate Lambor Malngiang by the thinnest of margins: 76 votes.
BJP candidates A.L. Hek and Sanbor Shulla won the Pynthorumkhrah and South Shillong seats. The Nationalist Congress Party secured just one seat. Only 3 Independents have won.