Garo Hills elections: Affaire d’honneur for Mukul, Purno

SHILLONG: It is once again turning out to a ‘battle for prestige’ for both Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his bête noir Tura MP Purno A Sangma when the countdown begins for the October 12 GHADC polls.
There have been ups and downs for both the Congress party and its rival NPP in Garo Hill in the last two years.
In the 2013 Assembly polls, Purno’s party NPP suffered a humiliating defeat with Congress bagging the maximum seats.
However, in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress suffered defeat as the NPP leader emerged victorious from the Tura seat.
Incidentally, the NPP suffered a reverse in the Chokpot by polls held in June when Congress candidate Bluebell Sangma won from the seat.
Though the GHADC polls will be held under the shadow of protests from people spearheaded by several pressure groups, the parties have already geared up for the polls.
With just three days remaining for the campaign to end for the Council polls, the Congress which has put up candidates in all the 29 constituencies is fighting anti-incumbency due to the worsening law and order problem in Garo Hills with increasing cases of abductions, extortions and recovery of bodies.
The NPP has put up candidates in 26 seats and left three seats for its ‘ally’ the BJP.
NPP leader Purno A Sangma had claimed an anti-incumbency wave in favour of his party and added that there was anger among the people due to the overall collapse of governance.
The NP also believes that the GHADC polls will be an acid test for the party as the council elections will be an indication of what lies in store for the party in the 2018 Assembly polls.
However, buoyed by its victory in the Chokpot by polls, Congress is trying hard to secure maximum seats in the GHADC fighting all odds.
For the Congress too, the council polls will be signal to the 2018 Assembly polls.
Despite anti-incumbency factor, the working president of Congress party and senior minister Deborah Marak said the party was determined to secure majority of seats in Garo Hills.

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