|Cong largest party in Meghalaya council polls|
SHILLONG, Feb 27 – The Congress today emerged as the single largest party in the election results declared for the Khasi and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), but is short of forming the Executive Committee (EC) in these two councils.
In the Khasi Hills ADC, the Congress bagged ten out of the 29 seats, but regional parties like the Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP), United Democratic Party, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Party (KHNAM) together bagged 17 seats. In both the councils, 29 seats are contested and one seat each is nominated by the Governor.
The oldest regional party, HSPDP, did exceptionally well in the elections bagging seven seats, better than the principal opposition party, UDP, which could win just six seats, despite putting up candidates in all 29 constituencies.
The HSPDP was the biggest gainer in this election, adding four more seats from its previous tally of 2009. The UDP won eleven seats in the 2009 elections, so it was a disappointing show by the party losing five seats.
The other regional party KHNAM bagged four seats and retained the number of seats it won in the last elections. Two other seats were won by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and an Independent.
In the 2009 Khasi Hills ADC elections, Congress won eight seats, but several UDP members defected – in the absence of an anti-defection law in the Council – and joined the Congress after the elections thereby helping the latter to form the EC.
There is every likelihood that the regional parties would together stake claim to form the EC in the next few days as there was a similar talk before the elections to form a “non-Congress EC.” The Congress is therefore likely to sit in the opposition.
On the other hand, in the Jaintia Hills ADC, Congress has bagged 13 seats, two seats less than the 2009 tally. The UDP won six, again two seats less than the last polls. Nine other seats were won by Independent candidates. It is in this Council that the Congress is likely to form the EC with the support of Independents.
Meanwhile, some of the prominent candidates to have won the elections include, Deputy Assembly Speaker Sanbor Shullai (NCP) retaining Laban-Mawprem seat. Transport Minister HDR Lyngdoh (Cong) retaining Sohiong, HSPDP vice president and sitting MLA, Ardent Basiawmoit, Nongkrem seat. Sitting MLA Methbah Lyngdoh (UDP) winning Mairang-Nongkhlaw seat and former Minister Process Sawkmie who won from Mawlai.
PTI adds: In a first in Meghalaya, four women out of 14 who contested, were elected to the two tribal autonomous councils in the State as were two former militants.
Two sitting women members of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party, Grace Mary Kharpuri and Teilinia Thangkhiew, retained their seats from Nongskhen and Mylliem constituencies respectively in the the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council , while two others of the United Democratic Party were new faces.
Former militants Banteidor Lyngdoh of Congress and James Sylliang, an Independent candidate, defeated their closest rivals Martle M Mukhim and Otril Pamshong from Mawkynrew and Mawhati constituencies respectively.