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It’s all in the family once again in Garo Hills

SHILLONG: Family politics is here to stay if one goes by the development following the declaration of results of the GHADC elections.
While the family of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, his wife Dikkanchi Shira (MLA) and his brother Zenith Sangma (Cabinet Minister) has introduced another member to the State politics after the win of Congress MDC Sadhiarani M Sangma (wife of Zenith), NPP leader and Tura MP P.A. Sangma was instrumental in getting his son Conrad Sangma elected as the leader of the newly formed Garo Hills Progressive Alliance (GHPA) led by the NPP.
Moreover, the nephew of P.A. Sangma, Boston Marak, is proposed to be the Chairman of the GHADC.
From the family of P.A. Sangma, his daughter Agatha Sangma had represented Tura in the Lok Sabha till 2014 and his son James Sangma is a sitting legislator in the Assembly.
The proposal for Conrad to head the GHADC had initially shocked even the NPP MDCs who were more experienced, but the MDCs had to accept the decision as they did not want to go against the party leadership, sources said.
During the tenure of the NPP-UDP led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance after the 2008 elections, Conrad was a cabinet minister holding Finance and other key portfolios.
Though Conrad has downplayed his entry to the GHADC by stating that it was the wish of the elected members in the GHPA, critics have pointed out that the party could have done better by electing any other MDC from the NPP to head the coalition.
Sources pointed out that the ultimate intention of P.A. Sangma is to   consolidate his as well as his son’s position. Conrad, it may be remembered, was defeated in the 2013 Assembly election in Selsella by Congress candidate Clement Marak who is the current power minister.
According to sources, Conrad will have to step down as CEM just ahead of the 2018 elections since he would seek re-election to the State Assembly. Moreover, Conrad would not have any problem in stepping down as he is a nominated member and any other nominated member can take his place, sources added.
Though the Congress and NPP have succeeded in facilitating the entry of family members in the GHADC, NCP legislator Marthon Sangma was not lucky as his wife Jingje D Shira, who had contested on a Congress ticket, did not win the election.

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