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Conrad wins Tura bypoll by record margin
Biplab Kr Dey

An emotional Conrad K Sangma after winning the Tura Lok Sabha by-election, in Tura on Thursday. – UB Photos
 TURA, May 19 - The Garo Hills region today paid tributes to the late ‘King of Garos’ Purno A Sangma through a decisive vote in favour of his youngest son, Conrad K Sangma in the bypoll to Tura Lok Sabha seat. The victory margin of 1.92 lakh votes was so decisive that the National People’s Party (NPP) president won in 23 out of the 24 Assembly segments.

The victory margin is suggestive of the wave of sympathy votes. While Conrad secured 3,29,497 votes, Dikkanchi got only 1,37,285. Another 16,597 voters chose NOTA option.

The only Assembly segment where the Congress led was that of CM Dr Mukul Sangma’s in Ampati in South West Garo Hills. With the Assembly elections less than two years away, the situation for the Congress will require digging deep into what went wrong. Dikkanchi could not win even in her own constituency of Mahendraganj.

Interestingly, even the plain belt of Garo Hills which traditionally is a Congress stronghold, including Phulbari, Rajabala, Tikrikilla, voted comprehensively for Conrad.

Victory of the NPP candidate had been hinted at even prior to the start of elections with most residents backing the NPP. However, the margin of victory has astounded everyone and put a question mark on the Congress and its policies in the State.

Immediately after the mandate was clear, Conrad visited the grave of his father to pay his respects and had another emotional moment with his mother who broke down after his victory. Like his father, Conrad too took out a victory parade through the town before ending at the house of PA Sangma in Walbakgre here. He was accompanied by his wife, daughter and mother in the streets to thank the electorates. He dedicated his victory to his father and thanked the electorates and BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for supporting him in the by-election.

He said that he would raise his voice on problems confronting the region including deficiency in the implementation of Central schemes, education, law and order, amongst others.

Nalin Kohli, national spokesperson of BJP and in-charge of Meghalaya congratulated Conrad on behalf of his party. He also said that the results reflect that Congress under the leadership of Mukul Sangma is crumbling down.

PTI adds: This is the love of the people for my father. It is now my duty to fulfil the wishes and dreams of every Garo citizen and I will speak on their behalf in the Parliament, Conrad said.

Accepting defeat, State Congress party president DD Lapang wished Conrad well in his new role. Conrad’s victory was also celebrated by members of its main ally in the NDA, the BJP, and other regional parties. Several BJP leaders had toured the Garo Hills campaigning for Conrad ahead of the May 16 bypolls.

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