FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Tura, July 18: The Congress party in Meghalaya is upbeat as it has been able to wrestle down tiol People’s Party (NPP) on Tuesday to return to power in Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC).
In September 2015, NPP winning 10 seats in the council election forged alliance with Garo tiol Council and BJP to form the executive committee under the leadership of Deng T Sangma as its chief executive member (CEM).
However, after about one and half year, Deng T Sangma resigned as NPP council member and Boston Marak, cousin of NPP tiol president Conrad K. Sangma, rebelled against his own party and shifted his loyalty to Congress.
In March, Deng had resigned from the council and the budget for this year could not be passed. Thereafter, an administrative rule was imposed in the council. Last week Boston resigned from the post of chairman of the council, which paved the way for the fresh election for the post of CEM, which he won convincingly with 17 votes in the house of 29 members.
The election to the post of CEM was necessitated after the NPP-led Executive Committee led by Deng Sangma collapsed on March 31 before facing the no-confidence motion brought by the Congress-led opposition.
Congress party had won seven seats in the council election 2015. However, with different independents and NPP members shifting loyalty to Congress, Boston has been able consolidate Congress party’s return in district council ahead of 2018 assembly election in Meghalaya. Boston defeated Sukaram K Sangma of NPP by a margin of six votes after one of the NPP alliance member of the council cross-voted in favour of Boston.
Out of the 29 member of district council present in the house the Congress had strength of 16 members while the NPP alliance had 13 on its side.
Since the election was conducted by the Deputy Chairman of the GHADC, NPP member from Darugre Mettrinson G Momin, the NPP alliance was reduced to 12 members.
Interestingly, when the voting took place, one of the NPP alliance members voted in favour of the Congress candidate raising Boston Marak’s vote tally to 17 and reducing the NPP number to 11.
Accepting the verdict, defeated NPP candidate for the CEM post Sukaram K Sangma and former CEM Deng T Sangma congratulated Boston Marak assuring support for the smooth running of the council.
“We knew the numbers were stacked against us but in the true spirit of democracy we accepted the contest,” said Sukaram.
Newly elected CEM Boston Marak has appealed to all to work together in ensuring a smooth governce of the second oldest autonomous body in the state.
“We must work unitedly and issues on party lines should not take precedence in the smooth functioning of the district council. We must ensure we work like an all party government,” said Boston Marak.