By-election: Congress wins in Meghalaya, NDPP in Nagaland

Congress’s Miani D Shira, who is the daughter of former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, won from the Ampati seat, defeating her nearest rival, Clement G Momin, of NPP.

Published: 31st May 2018 03:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2018 07:18 PM   |  A+A-

Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The Congress retained the Ampati Assembly seat in Meghalaya while the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) grabbed Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha seat in the by-election, the results of which were declared on Thursday.

Congress’s Miani D Shira, who is the daughter of former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, won from the Ampati seat, defeating her nearest rival, Clement G Momin, of the National People’s Party (NPP) by 3,191 votes. Miani polled 14,259 votes as against Momin’s 11,068. One Subhankar Koch, who contested as an Independent, received 360 votes.

Ahead of the by-election, the Congress and the NPP were tied at 20 seats each in the 60-member Meghalaya House. The victory has now helped the Congress to emerge as the single largest party. The NPP heads the state’s coalition government that has BJP and some regional parties as constituents. 

In the Assembly election held in February this year, Mukul Sangma had won from Songsak and Ampati seats. Later, he vacated the Ampati seat, necessitating the by-election. Sangma’s wife, Dikkanchi D Shira, is also an MLA. She represents the Mahendraganj seat.

Two Sangma families – one that of Mukul Sangma and another of former Lok Sabha speaker the late PA Sangma – hold sway in the politics of Meghalaya’s Garo Hills bordering Bangladesh. Following Miani’s victory, each family now has three members in the Assembly. PA Sangma’s youngest son Conrad Sangma is the state’s Chief Minister while the eldest son is the Home Minister. Their sister, Agatha Sangma, is an MLA.

In the straight contest in Nagaland, NDPP’s Tokheho Yepthomi defeated C Apok Jamir of the Naga People’s Front (NPF) by 1,73,746 votes. Yepthomi received 5,94,205 votes and Jamir 4,20,459 votes. NOTA or none of the above accounted for 3,991 votes. Jamir is the son of former Congress Chief Minister SC Jamir. Yepthomi was the consensus candidate of ruling People’s Democratic Alliance where BJP is one of the constituents. 

The by-election was necessitated as sitting MP, Neiphiu Rio, donned the mantle of Chief Minister in March. In the 2014 election, he had contested as an NPF candidate and won by over four lakh votes. However, last year, he resigned from the party and floated the NDPP. The NDPP now heads the state’s coalition government.

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