Congress emerges single largest party in Meghalaya tribal body


Meghalaya’s opposition Congress on Thursday has emerged as the single-largest party in the 29-member Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), winning 12 seats while the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) won 11 seats, officials said.

The election to the GHADC was held on April 12 and the results were declared on Thursday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, a junior partner of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), has bagged two seats while the Garo National Council secured one and three seats went in favour of the independent candidates.

The United Democratic Party, a local party, could not even open its account.

BJP’s Bernard Marak won the key Tura seat, under the South Tura Assembly constituency represented by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma.

Marak was a former member of the Achik National Volunteer Council, a militant outfit that signed an agreement earlier with the government.

NPP sources said that the BJP is most likely to support the NPP and the party is also trying to get the support of the three independents to govern the GHADC.

Meghalaya has three tribal autonomous district councils — the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council and the GHADC – for the socio-economic development of the tribals, which constitute 86.15 per cent of the state’s three million population.