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NPP to conduct post-mortem of Sohiong election result

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SHILLONG/ NEW DELHI, May 14: The unexpected result of the Sohiong Assembly election and the drubbing the NPP received at the hands of its ally UDP has forced the former to go back to the drawing board to analyse the outcome of the deferred poll.
While the result has only boosted the MDA strength in the House of 60, the shock loss is nothing short of a personal setback for the ruling side.
NPP spokesperson Bajop Pyngrope on Sunday said that the party’s state executive committee (SEC) will meet as soon as Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma and Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong are available.
Pyngrope refused to divulge any detail on whether the SEC will discuss removing the UDP from the MDA.
“The SEC will discuss the outcome of the Sohiong election. I am not sure if other things will be taken up,” the NPP spokesperson said.
It was Pyngrope himself who had claimed during the election campaign that NPP will ask the UDP to sit in the opposition post declaration of results of the Sohiong poll.
Commenting on the NPP-UDP barb during the campaign process, NPP spokesperson Ampareen Lyngdoh said the strength of the MDA 2.0 Government has been reinforced and now the one exercise that is left to be undertaken is the common minimum programme.
Seeking to downplay the bitter exchange of words during electioneering, Lyngdoh said leaders of the political parties in the MDA have displayed maturity in their ability to gel together despite political differences. “Election platforms do create temporary rifts between parties as they are trying to woo the voters,” she said.
While the shock defeat of former MLA and NPP candidate Samlin Malngiang in Sohiong does not change the overall political situation in Meghalaya, political analysts say that the defeat could be a warning signal for the NPP which came to power just two months ago.
In all the by-elections whether Lok Sabha or assemblies held along with Sohiong it was the ruling party which won except in Meghalaya where the NPP lost, the analysts said.
The NPP may not be utterly worried at the outcome in Sohiong but the autonomous district council polls and the Lok Sabha elections scheduled next year may be a cause of concern for the ruling party which has recently been accorded “national party” status by the Election Commission, the analysts observed.
Reacting to the loss, Pyngrope had said that the votes of smaller political parties got consolidated in favour of the UDP at the last minute.
But that does not seem so since all other parties, both regional and national, polled votes as per their capacity.
The NPP spokesperson’s inference that Congress could have eaten into NPP votes and that other parties had ganged up against NPP are also not convincing since the total votes polled by the Congress, BJP, TMC and HSPDP was far less than the margin of victory of UDP candidate Synshar Kupar Roy Lyngdoh Thabah.
Being the main ruling party, NPP also cannot blame the defeat on money or muscle power, the usual alibis dished out by all parties. It was reported that both NPP and UDP spent a lot of money to win the prestigious seat.
Although the NPP, which heads the ruling MDA, is a dominant player in Garo Hills and Jaintia Hills, the constituencies in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region continue to remain out of its grip. The Khasi-Jaintia Hills region has 36 seats – 29 in Khasi Hills and 7 in Jaintia Hills.

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