Opposition Congress reduced to 11 in GHADC with Ashahel joining UDP to support NPP alliance

TURA, Nov 30 The ruling NPP led alliance in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council has received a further boost with former congress MDC Ashahel D Shira extending support to the coalition headed by Chief Executive Member Benedic R Marak after the former joined the United Democratic Party.

Ashahel D Shira led a delegation of UDP leaders from Garo Hills to meet with CEM Benedic R Marak and Chairman Rakesh A Sangma to submit a letter of support to the ruling NPP alliance on Tuesday afternoon.

“He (Ashahel) has submitted his willingness to support the Executive committee of CEM Benedic R Marak today. It’s the discretion of the CEM to decide upon,” said Chairman Rakesh A Sangma after Shira handed in his letter to join the ruling side.

The regional UDP, which drew a complete blank in this year’s GHADC polls that took place in April has suddenly found a presence in the 30 member house with Ashahel D Shira having joined the party ahead of the Rajabala by-elections which took place on October 30th, this year.

Though Ashahel lost the Rajabala by-poll to NPP’s Abdus Saleh, he came a distant third, yet he remains a member of the district council (MDC). He represents the Batabari MDC constituency in the plain belt region of Rajabala-Phulbari.

Ashahel’s defection to the UDP has dealt a severe blow to the Congress which had previously 12 MDCs in the elections.

Although the Congress overtook the NPP by a single seat to emerge the single largest party with 12 MDCs, yet, it failed to cobble up a majority in a house of 29 directly elected MDCs.

The NPP which won 11 seats gained the support of the lone Garo National Council MDC, one BJP and three Independents to touch the magic figure of 16.

One rebel BJP MDC representing Tura seat, Bernard Marak, later extended support to the NPP coalition.

The Congress is now at par with its rival NPP having 11 members each.

But, the NPP appears to be the biggest gainer in the GHADC under the current term. It has won the election to the Chairman’s post with Rakesh A Sangma of Babelapara constituency having defeated Sadhiarani M Sangma of the Congress and even the deputy chairman’s election which went in favour of NPP MDC from Siju constituency, Albinush R Marak.

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