TURA, May 23: The results of the Tura parliamentary seat has exceeded all poll predictions of a close nish between the Congress and the NPP with Agatha Sangma defeating her late father’s arch rival Mukul Sangma by a massive margin of 63,775 votes to return to the Lok Sabha for the third time.
The victory of Agatha in this election also makes it the third failed attempt by the Congress’s former chief minister of Meghalaya to enter parliament from the prestigious Tura MP seat.
It was also a double treat for the Conrad K Sangma led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government in the state as its candidate and former MCS ocer Ferline C A Sangma snatching victory in the Selsella Assembly by-election defeating her nearest Congress rival June Eliana Marak by an impressive margin of 4396 votes.
The Selsella by-poll was necessitated following the demise of its sitting Congress legislator Clement Marak, last year. The Congress had elded Marak’s widow for the contest.
While pollsters had all along predicted a tight contest, the results proved otherwise as the margin between the NPP and the Congress slowly began to widen by the time the rst and second round of counting had taken place.
Out of the 24 assembly constituencies that make up the Tura Lok Sabha seat, the assembly segment of Rongjeng in East Garo Hills gave the highest margin of victory for NPP’s Agatha Sangma. Agatha defeated Mukul Sangma with a mammoth margin of 11044 votes from this east constituency.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, in a victory speech, congratulated the people of Rongjeng for their overwhelming support for Agatha.
The NPP candidate defeated the Congress in as many as eighteen assembly segments but failed to break the stronghold of Mukul Sangma in the constituencies of Mahendraganj, Ampati and Songsak, which are currently represented by his wife Dikkanchi D Shira, his daughter Miani D Shira and himself.
The Congress also managed to make a dent in the NPP stronghold of East Garo Hills by winning in the
Resubelpara assembly segment with a wafer thin margin of 497 votes. Mukul Sangma secured 10956 votes against Agatha’s 10459 votes.
Also, in Chokpot assembly segment Congress over took the NPP by 581 votes. Mukul polled 11391 against Agatha’s 10810 votes.
Similar scene unfolded in the Phulbari assembly segment of West Garo Hills where the Congress outsmarted the NPP to secure more votes than its rival. Interestingly, Both Resubelpara and Phulbari are held by sitting NPP legislators, namely Timothy D Shira and S G Esmatur Mominin, respectively.
Though the victory has been sweet for the NPP, yet, it also indicates a resurgent Congress slowly gaining ground in areas that were once held by the NPP.
Mukul’s ‘Mahagathbandhan’ fails to impact NPP prospects: The joining of opposition forces with the Congress across the 24 assembly segments to defeat the NPP failed to ignite the voters mind, as today’s results have revealed.
Dozens of former legislators and candidates who contested the 2018 assembly elections and were defeated had joined the Bandwagon of the Congress in the hope of breaking the grip on the Tura seat held for decades by the family of Late P A Sangma.
“Out of the ten candidates who contested against us from Rongjeng in the last assembly election nine of them joined hands with Congress to defeat us. But what happened? The people of Rongjeng gave us the highest victory margin,” announced NPP working president Semford B Sangma during a victory speech outside P A Sangma’s house after declaration of results.