Meghalaya assembly hung as Congress still short of majority

If trends hold, Meghalaya seems to have thrown up a hung assembly again, leading to a Congress-BJP tussle for government formation. Congress is leading in 22 seats, followed closely by NPP with 18

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Web Desk

If trends hold, Meghalaya seems to have thrown up a hung assembly again. The ruling Congress in Meghalaya was leading in 22 seats at the time of writing, with the National People's Party (NPP) close behind on 18 and the BJP in 3, in the vote count so far. The Conrad Sangma-led NPP, which is an ally of the BJP at the centre, Rajasthan and Manipur, fought the elections in Meghalaya on its own.

The Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and People's Democratic Front have won one seat each, and were leading in one and two seats, respectively.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has won both constituencies, Ampati and Songsak, from where he contested. Information and Technology Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh retained her seat East Shillong seat, winning by a 6,074-margin over her nearest rival Neil Antonio War of the BJP, Returning Officer of the East Garo Hills district Vijay Mantri told IANS over phone. However, Home Minister Horju Donkupar Roy Lyngdoh and Urban Affairs Minister Ronnie V Lyngdoh lost to HSPDP candidate Samlin Malngiang and PDF candidate Hamletson Dohling, respectively.

Former Union Minister Agatha K Sangma of the NPP is trailing behind former Meghalaya Sports and Youth Affairs minister, Billy Kid Sangma of the BJP, at the time of writing.

According to the poll panel, United Democratic Party (UDP) was leading on six seats, while the People's Democratic Front (PDF) was leading on five seats and independent candidates were leading on at least four seats. The combined regional alliance comprising UDP, HSPDP and Garo National Council is leading in eight constituencies.

Polling for 59 out of the state's 60 assembly seats was held on February 27. The election to one seat was countermanded following the death of NCP’s William Nagar candidate Jonathone Sangma.

Congress, BJP begin tussle over Meghalaya

With Congress emerging the single largest party as per leads, but still short of the majority, Congress and BJP leaders have begun a tussle over who will form the government in Meghalaya. CNN News18 reported that senior leaders Kamal Nath, Mukul Wasnik and Ahmed Patel have left for Shillong. Meanwhile, ANI reported Ram Madhav, BJP’s National General Secretary as saying that “In Meghalaya a divided result is a possibility, we will see that a non-Congress Govt is formed there. Himanta Biswa Sarma ji is leaving for Meghalaya shortly." Nalin Kohli, BJP’s Meghalaya incharge, said "the vote is basically against the Congress if you see the performance of other parties. Leaders will discuss if there can be possibility of a post poll alliance.” Meghalaya Congress President Vincent Pala said Congress was confident of forming the government.

With IANS inputs.

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