The NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance on Tuesday got a shot in the arm, as it clinched all three assembly seats where bypolls were held on October 30, an official said. The National People’s Party wrested Rajabala and Mawryngkneng seats from the Congress, while the United Democratic Party, a partner in the MDA government, emerged victorious in Mawphlang, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said.
NPP’s nominee in Rajabala, Md. Abdus Saleh, defeated his nearest Congress’ rival Hashina Yasmin Mondal by a margin of 1,926 votes. Mondal, whose husband Azad Zaman’s demise led to the by-election, secured only 9,897 votes, while Saleh got 11,823. UDP’s Ashahel D Shira secured the third position with 7,247 votes, the CEO said. Pyniaid Sing Syiem of the NPP bagged Mawryngkneng seat, defeating Congress’ Highlander Kharmalki by a margin of 1,816 votes. Syiem garnered 14,177 votes, while Kharmalki secured 12,361, according to the Election Commission Website. Former national footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who contested the bypoll to Mawphlang constituency on a UDP ticket, defeated his nearest rival KC Khyriem of the Congress.
Eugeneson, who lost his MLA father SK Sunn due to Covid-19 earlier this year, secured 13,285 votes, while the Congress’ candidate got 8,884. National People’s Party nominee Lamphrang Blah came third. The by-elections to the two seats were necessitated due to deaths of Congress legislator David A Nongrum from Mawryngkneng and Independent MLA SK Sunn from Mawphlang. “The people have made their choice by ensuring victory for our candidates Sh. Abdus Saleh in Rajabala constituency and Sh. Pyniaid Sing Syiem in Mawryngkneng constituency. This is a victory of our people. My gratitude to all those who contributed in this big win! Long live NPP!,” Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said on Twitter. People are aware of the development activities undertaken by our government. Today’s results indicate that people want development, he told PTI.
With the bypoll results, the ruling NPP’s strength will be 23 in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly, and the UDP will have eight. The BJP and the People’s Democratic Front have two and four MLAs respectively. Hill State People’s Democratic Party has two members, the NCP and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement have one each. There are two Independent members. The opposition Congress’ strength in the House reduced to 17 from 19.