Lion roars; Congress wounded

lion roars
HSPDP MDCs (Lto R) Grace Mary Kharpuri, Ardent Basaiawmoit and Teilinia Thangkhiew show victory signs after the KHADC election results were announced on Thursday. (ST)

SHILLONG/ JOWAI: The hope of the Congress to come to power on its own in both the KHADC and JHADC was partially dashed by a fractured verdict on Monday with the regional parties now set to form the Executive Council (EC) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, while the Congress will seek the support of Independents to stake claims to the EC in the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.

Congress emerged as the single largest party in both the KHADC and the JHADC winning 10 and 14 seats respectively.

The Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) sprang a surprise by winning seven seats in the KHADC, outnumbering the principal Opposition party in the State Assembly UDP, which won six seats.

The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) equalled its 2009 tally of four seats; the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won one seat while an Independent candidate rounded off the winners’ list in the KHADC.

Congress won 14 seats in the JHADC, one of which was decided through a ‘lucky draw’. Both the Congress candidate Awhai Andrew Shullai and the UDP candidate Kitboklang Nongtdu secured 2315 votes each in the Jowai Central constituency seat, following which a ‘lucky draw’ was conducted and Shullai was declared the winner.

The combined force of the regional parties (HSPDP, UDP and KHNAM), with a total of 17 seats, is set to form the Executive Committee in the KHADC while the nine Independent candidates who secured wins in the JHADC are set to play a crucial role in the formation of the EC in the Council which is set to be led by Congress.

The results declared on Thursday sprang a few surprises, especially for the HSPDP which managed to win seven seats – four in East Khasi Hills and retaining the three seats in West Khasi Hills the party had won in 2009.

The party had fielded a total of 20 candidates in the KHADC and five in the JHADC.

The UDP, however, suffered a setback in the KHADC managing to win only six seats – three in West Khasi Hills, two in Ri Bhoi and only one in East Khasi Hills – while drawing a blank in the constituencies within Shillong city. In the 2009 election, the UDP had won ten seats. The party also won an identical number of six seats in the JHADC, bringing its tally down from eight it had won in 2009. The UDP had contested all the 29 seats in the KHADC and had fielded 16 candidates in the JHADC. KHNAM has retained its tally of four the party had won in the last election. The party had fielded 13 candidates in the KHADC.

The Congress also marginally improved its tally in the KHADC as compared to 2009 by winning two seats more for a total of 10. In the JHADC, the party performed below expectation, winning 14 seats compared to the 15 it has won in 2009.

Independent candidates, however, performed well above expectation in the JHADC winning nine seats compared to only two seats they had won in the last election. 37 Independents had contested the JHADC election. However, only one Independent candidate was elected to the KHADC from Ri Bhoi out of a total of 27 who were in the fray. Out of the four candidates the NCP had fielded in the KHADC, only the party’s State president Sanbor Shullai was declared elected from the Laban-Mawprem seat. The party drew a blank in the JHADC.

Mukul compliments all winners: Meanwhile, Chief minister Dr. Mukul Sangma on Thursday extended his greetings to all the candidates who were declared elected to the KHADC and the JHADC.

“I would like to congratulate all the winning candidates irrespective of their party affiliation for their success and hope that they will strive to serve the people of the State to the best of their abilities,” the Chief Minister said over phone from New Delhi.

Dr. Sangma also praised the electorates, stating that the credit goes to them as well.

“Had it not been for a conscious and disciplined electorate, the exercise of democratic rights would not have passed off peacefully,” the Chief Minister said.

He also thanked the hundreds of poll officials who diligently and sincerely discharged their duties to ensure success of the district council polls.

Party Position

Total: 29
Congress: 10
UDP: 6
NCP: 1
Independent: 1

Total 29
Cong: 14
Independents: 9
UDP: 6

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