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Pala, Agatha register wins; NPP takes Selsella

SHILLONG/TURA: Congress candidate and sitting MP Vincent Pala recorded a hat-trick of victories on Thursday as he comfortably retained the Shillong parliamentary seat while NPP’s Agatha Sangma won the Tura seat.
The results were declared on Thursday evening.
The united efforts of the MDA to field UDP’s Jemino Mawthoh as common candidate did not pay any dividends as Pala defeated his rival by a record margin of 1,52,433 votes.
In Tura, predictions of a close finish were belied as Agatha defeated her late father’s arch rival Mukul Sangma by a margin of 63,775 votes to return to the Lok Sabha for the third time.
The NPP also bagged the Selsella Assembly seat with its candidate and former MCS officer Ferline C A Sangma winning the by-poll defeating her nearest Congress rival June Eliana Marak by an impressive margin of 4,396 votes.
Adorsho Sangma of the BJP got 1,018 votes and Sayeedullah Nongrum secured 543 votes.
The by-poll was necessitated following the death of former MLA Clement Marak, whose widow, however, could not retain the seat.
In Shillong, Pala secured 4,19,212 EVM votes in addition to 477 postal votes as he polled 53.52 per cent whereas Mawthoh secured 2,67,080 EVM votes in addition to 176 postal votes as he polled 34.08 per cent.
BJP candidate and sitting MLA Sanbor Shullai secured 76,683 votes including 897 postal votes with a percentage of 9.78.
Independent candidates Romeo Phira Rani managed 4,961 votes followed by Samuel Hashah with 4,601 votes. Another independent candidate THS Bonney, who initially wanted to contest as KHNAM candidate, secured 6,580 votes.
There were as many as 4420 votes, which accounted for 0.56 per cent, that went to None of the Above (NOTA).
Altogether, there were 11,97,806 electors and the total number of valid votes polled were 7,79,770. There was a total of 89 rejected votes and five tendered votes.
In most of the Assembly constituencies, Pala got more than 10,000 votes with the highest being in Mawlai — 16,516 votes — whereas in urban constituencies, he polled around 5000-6500 votes each.
In many of the rural constituencies, Shullai secured just 150-200 votes while in South Shillong, which he represents, he got more than 12,500 votes.
Jemino Mawthoh on the other hand got more than 10,000 votes in some rural constituencies like Mairang, Sutnga Saipung and Khliehriat.
Third failed attempt for Mukul
The victory of Agatha also made it the third failed attempt by the Congress’s former chief minister of Meghalaya to enter parliament from the prestigious Tura seat.
While pollsters had all along predicted a tight contest, the results proved otherwise as the margin between the NPP and the Congress slowly began to widen by the time the first and second round of counting had taken place.

The winner from SHillong seat Vincent Pala shows victory soon after the delcaration of results for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 at Polo here on Thursday . (Photo by Sanjib Bhattacharjee).

Out of the 24 assembly constituencies that make up the Tura Lok Sabha seat, the assembly segment of Rongjeng in East Garo Hills gave the highest margin of victory for NPP’s Agatha Sangma. Agatha defeated Mukul Sangma with a mammoth margin of 11,044 votes from this east constituency.
Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, in a victory speech, congratulated the people of Rongjeng for their overwhelming support for Agatha.
The NPP candidate defeated the Congress in as many as 18 assembly segments but failed to break the stronghold of Mukul Sangma in the Assembly constituencies of Mahendraganj, Ampati and Songsak, which are currently represented by his wife Dikkanchi D Shira, his daughter Miani D Shira and himself. The Congress also managed to make a dent in the NPP stronghold of East Garo Hills by winning in the Resubelpara assembly segment with a wafer thin margin of 497 votes. Mukul secured 10,956 votes against Agatha’s 10,459 votes.
Also, in Chokpot assembly segment Congress overtook the NPP by 581 votes. Mukul polled 11,391 against Agatha’s 10,810 votes.
Similar scene unfolded in the Phulbari assembly segment of West Garo Hills where the Congress outsmarted the NPP to secure more votes than its rival. Interestingly, Both Resubelpara and Phulbari are held by sitting NPP legislators Timothy D Shira and S G Esmatur Mominin, respectively.
Though the victory has been sweet for the NPP, it also indicates a resurgent Congress slowly gaining ground in areas that were once held by the NPP.
Mukul’s ‘Mahagathbandhan’ fails to impact NPP prospects: The joining of opposition forces with the Congress across the 24 Assembly segments to defeat the NPP failed to ignite the voters’ mind.
Dozens of former legislators and candidates who contested the 2018 assembly elections and were defeated had joined the bandwagon of the Congress in the hope of breaking the grip on the Tura seat held for decades by the family of Late P A Sangma.
“Out of the ten candidates who contested against us from Rongjeng in the last assembly election nine of them joined hands with Congress to defeat us. But what happened? The people of Rongjeng gave us the highest victory margin,” said NPP working president Semford B Sangma during a victory speech outside P A Sangma’s house after declaration of results.

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SHILLONG PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY

JEMINO MAWTHOH UDP 267256 SANBOR SHULLAI BJP 76683 VINCENT H. PALA Cong 419689 ROMEO PHIRA RANI Ind 4961 SAMUEL HASHAH Ind 4601 T.H.S. BONNEY Ind 6580 NONE OF THE ABOVE 4420TURA PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY AGATHA K. SANGMA NPP 304455 MUKUL SANGMA Cong 240425 RIKMAN G MOMIN BJP 31707 NONE OF THE ABOVE 6454SELSELLA ASSEMBLY BY-ELECTION ADORSHO SANGMA BJP 1021 FERLIN C. A. SANGMA NPP 15857 JUNE ELIANA R. MARAK Cong 11461 SAYEEDULLAH NONGRUM UDP 547 NONE OF THE ABOVE 124

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