GHADC polls: BJP scripts history in Mukul’s bastion
TURA: The grand old man of Garo Hills politics, Purno A Sangma, was all smiles on Thursday as he led his party Nationalist People’s Party (NPP) to a resounding victory in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council elections bagging the largest number of seats in a split verdict and relegating his rival Congress into the second position.
The NPP secured ten seats while the Congress could muster only seven in an election many had dubbed would have been a cakewalk for the ruling Congress.
The prestigious Tura (council) seat was bagged by Independent candidate Rupert M Sangma who was backed by sitting South Tura MLA John Leslee K Sangma.
Congress bigwigs, including chief executive member Alphonse A Sangma from Siju constituency and GHADC chairman Purno K Sangma from Jengjal seat, fell like a pack of cards as one sitting MDC after another fell by the wayside in the polls results of which were announced on Thursday.
While the CEM was relegated to fourth position in the contest, council chairman Purno K Sangma was pushed to the third position losing to an Independent, Levastone T Sangma.
Out of the 29 MDCs in the last House only four have returned in this election. NPP MDCs Boston Marak from Nogorpara, Sukaram K Sangma from Rongrong, Denang T Sangma from Williamnagar and Dipul R Marak from Rochonpara were the only trio to duck the anger of the voters who rejected 25 other sitting members. The outgoing Tura MDC Luxley Robinhood Momin did not contest the polls.
The BJP also created a history of sorts by snatching the Zikzak seat from the Congress in South West Garo Hills ( district. The icing on the cake for the saffron party was that the victory was secured in an area which fell under chief minister Mukul Sangma’s wife Dikkanchi D Shira. Zikzak is part of Mahendraganj assembly constituency currently represented by the chief minister’s wife.
There was some consolation for the Congress with the wife of Zenith M Sangma, Mrs. Sadhia Rani M Sangma, winning from Dengnakpara seat under Rangsakona.
The Garo National Council (GNC) party of Late Clifford Marak that many believed was confined to the history books returned with a big bang by winning three seats. Young firebrand student leader Augustine Marak of the GNC won from Silkigre, Wenison Ch Marak from Rongrikimgre and Jinbirth Marak added to the party kitty by winning in Amongpara.
West Garo Hills with the largest share of 13 MDC constituencies failed to give either of the two parties-Congress and NPP, their required numbers for the council house.
Despite a grueling campaign by both P A Sangma and Mukul Sangma, it was the Independents who held sway. Both Congress and NPP won three seats each while the GNC and the Sharad Pawar led NCP party opened their accounts in Amongpara and Babelapara. Five Independents emerged victorious trouncing their rivals from either of the two parties.
Voters of East Garo Hills, long believed to be the bastion of P A Sangma, reposed their faith in the party of Mr Sangma by handing over all three seats to the NPP. The party retained Williamnagar constituency and won Darugre (Rongjeng) and Samandagre (Songsak) confortably.
In the North Garo Hills region where four seats were up for grabs, the Congress managed to win Bolsong (Bajengdoba) and Kharkutta while the NPP retained Rongrong (Resubelpara) and snatched Damas (Mendipather).
In South West Garo Hills district, home to Ampati constituency of the chief minister, the Congress was able to win in only Boldamgre and Betasing, while Nogorpara went to NPP and Zikzak to the BJP.