Meghalaya CM wins by-election, defeats Congress

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Tura (Meghalaya), Aug 27 (IANS) 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 Marweiñ 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 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.

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

“I won because people voted for development,” Conrad told IANS.

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

In Ranikor, Danggo, who had represented Ranikor constituency five consecutive times, lost to novice Pius Marweiñ of UDP by 2,896 votes.

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

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

With this victory, the NPP and UDP have increased their strength to 20 and eight respectively in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.

–IANS

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