Hung Assembly in Meghalaya, Cong bags 25 seats

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Shillong, Mar 7 (UNI) The voter in Meghalaya delivered a fractured mandate in the Assembly polls with the ruling Congress remaining six short of simple majority securing 25 seats in the 60-member House.

A coalition government was inevitable in the state as former alliance partner of the Congress, United Democratic Party, had won 11 seats.

The Nationalist Congress Party bagged 13 seats in all while the BJP has won only one seat against two last time.

Chief Minister D D Lapang retained his Nongpoh seat defeating UDP's Celestine Lyngdoh by 730 votes.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP's chief ministerial candidate Purno A Sangma wrested the Tura seat from Independent candidate Billykid A Sangma.

Assembly Speaker Martin M Danggoo of Congress retained the Langrin seat defeating UDP's K Lyngkhoi.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Donkupar Roy of UDP bagged the Shella seat beating nearest rival Leston Wanswett of Congress by 939 votes. His party has bagged two more seats--Salmanpura and Jirang.

BJP candidate A L Hek retained his Pynthorumkhrah seat for the third time defeating his nearest rival NCP's J M Pariat. However, the party's margin declined by one seat this time.

Among other Congress losers were deputy speaker P W Mukteih who lost to UDP's Donbok Khymdeit in Mawhati. S C Marak, a former chief minister, suffered defeat at the hands of NCP's Timothy Shira by a slim margin of 292 votes in Resubelapara. Another former chief minister J D Rymbai of UDP defeated Congress' William Mynsong in Jirang. Minister in the outgoing Assembly M I Sarkar lost to Independent A T Mondol in Phulbari constituency by a margin of 2418 votes.

Opposition leader Admiral K Sangma of NCP was defeated by Salseng Sangma of Congress in Dalamgiri.

Polling in Baghmara seat in South Garo Hills, countermanded following the death of Congress MLA and candidate Sengran M Sangma, would be held on March 22. Counting would be taken up on March 24.

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