SHILLONG, Aug 27: The National People’s Party (NPP) had a bad day in office when the results of the by-poll to the two constituencies of Meghalaya Assembly did not go as expected. While it was a known fact that Conrad Sangma would win the South Tura seat which the NPP had won in the February 27 election, but the defeat of Congress deserter Martin M Danggo dented their hopes of edging the Congress in the Meghalaya Assembly.
In the 60-member House, both the NPP and the Congress now have 20 MLAs each.
The by-election in South Tura was necessitated after Agatha Sangma resigned to pave the way for her brother Conrad Sangma to contest in order to retain the Chief Ministership. The biggest gainer from this by-election is the United Democratic Party (UDP), a partner of the NPP in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition. The UDP increased its tally to seven MLAs. Danggo a veteran legislator, who resigned from the Congress and joined the NPP, lost to Pius Marweiñ of the UDP. In the February 27 Assembly election, Danggo had defeated Marweiñ. Danggo was elected in the February general Assembly polls on a Congress ticket by defeating Marweiñ by 2,002 votes. “I won because people voted for development. I will definitely work towards it,” Conrad said.
Conrad Sangma, the youngest son of former Lok Sabha Speaker late Purno A. Sangma, defeated nearest rival of the Congress Charlotte W. Momin by 8,421 votes in a four corner contest. The NPP candidate secured 13, 656 votes while Charlotte bagged 5,235 votes and the other two John Leslee K. Sangma and Kris Kabul A. Sangma (Independents) polled 2211 and 897 each. In Ranikor, Danggo, who had represented Ranikor Assembly constituency for five-consecutive term, tasted defeat losing to a novice Pius Marweiñ of UDP by 2896 votes. Marweiñ polled 13,183 votes while Danggo bagged 10,287 votes. People’s Democratic Front candidate P.N.Syiem and Jackiush A. Sangma of the Congress secured 1978 and 938 votes respectively.
The break-up of seats of the other MDA partners are United Democratic Party (UDP) with eight seats which include one associate member, the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) has four MLAs, the Hill state People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP has two legislators each, one NCP MLA and also two independents are in the coalition.