Meghalaya: CM Conrad charms voters but fails to hit magic mark | Meghalaya Election News


The BJP barely survived the battle for Meghalaya on Thursday with two seats after boldly going it alone, leaving the prospect of it returning to government resting on the now stronger shoulders of CM Conrad K Sangma and his NPP.
Sangma’s party, against whom BJP had levelled serious corruption charges during a campaign fronted by PM Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, won 26 seats, six more than in the previous election.
NPP’s performance wasn’t the only surprise. United Democratic Party (UDP), the largest regional political outfit in the hill state, finished as the secondlargest party with 11 seats, five more than what it had in the outgoing assembly. Debutant Voice of the People Party was the other outperformer, winning four seats, including North Shillong.
Conrad said without mentioning BJP that the result was a reflection of voters’ belief that development and change did come to the state in the last five years.
This is for the first time in Meghalaya politics that a regional party is in line to form a second consecutive government. NPP, which won 19 seats in 2018, had BJP and UDP as partners in the outgoing coalition.
For Conrad, who retained the South Tura seat, there was a personal setback when his brother James Pangsang K Sangma failed to retain Dadenggre, falling short by seven votes.
BJP’s two seats were at least 10 less than projected by the saffron party’s campaign managers.
Trinamool Congress, led by former Congress CM Mukul Sagma, won five seats on its electoral debut in the state. Mukul won the Songsak seat but was defeated in Tikrikilla. His daughter Miani D Shira retained the Ampati seat while wife Dikkanchi D Shira lost in Mahendraganj.
Congress, the single largest party with 21 seats in the 2018 election, cut a sorry figure in the face of an NPP and UDP onslaught. The party was ahead of only BJP with five seats, making this the first instance of the grand old party getting less than 20 seats in Meghalaya.
According to agency reports, Sangma is likely to meet governor Phagu Chauhan on Friday morning to stake claim to form the next government. Sangma will go to Raj Bhawan at 11:30 am on Friday and meet the governor. “The MLAs of NPP and other allies will accompany him. Theywill stake claim to form the next government,” the official said. Before meeting the governor, Sangma will address a press conference.


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