Congress wins one, leads in 20; just ahead of NPP in Meghalaya

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Congress wins one, leads in 20; just ahead of NPP in Meghalaya
Img: Congress(File Photo)

Shillong/New Delhi: The ruling Congress bagged one seat and was leading in 20, with the National People's Party (NPP) ahead in 18 and the BJP in three in the vote count so far for the Meghalaya assembly on Saturday.

The Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and People's Democratic Front have won one seat each, and were leading in one and two seats, respectively.

Polling for 59 out of the state's 60 assembly seats was held on February 27. The election to one seat was countermanded following the killing of a candidate.

As per the counting in 59 seats, Congress has won one and was leading in 20 others. 

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma was favourably placed in both the constituencies - Ampati and Songsak - from which he is in the electoral race.

Congress' sitting member Ampareen Lyngdoh won from East Williamnagar constituency, with a 6,074-margin over her nearest rival Neil Antonio War of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Returning Officer of the East Garo Hills district Vijay Mantri told IANS over phone.

The Conrad Sangma-led NPP, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre, Rajasthan and Manipur, fought the elections in Meghalaya on its own and is leading in 18 seats. 

According to the poll panel, United Democratic Party (UDP) was leading on six seats, while the People's Democratic Front (PDF) was leading on five seats and independent candidates were leading on at least four seats.

The combined regional alliance comprising UDP, HSPDP and Garo National Council is leading in eight constituencies.

Sangma, who has won five consecutive terms from Ampati constituency since 1993, is leading by 2,200 votes over his nearest rival Bakul Ch. Hajong of the BJP.

In Songsak, the veteran Congress leader has left behind his closest rival NPP's Nihim D. Shira by 1,830 votes.

However, Home Minister Horju Donkupar Roy Lyngdoh and Urban Affairs Minister Ronnie V. Lyngdoh lost to HSPDP candidate Samlin Malngiang and PDF candidate Hamletson Dohling, respectively.

Before the vote count, Sangma told IANS: "We are close to the half-way mark and we are hoping to get more."

Former Union Minister Agatha K. Sangma of the NPP is trailing behind former Meghalaya Sports and Youth Affairs minister, Billy Kid Sangma of the BJP.

The Congress has fielded 59 candidates, while the BJP contested in 47 assembly constituencies.

Polling to the Williamnagar seat was countermanded following the killing of NCP candidate Jonathone Sangma in an IED blast at Sawilgre area in East Garo Hills district on February 18.