MDP's chief faces major loss in Meghalaya election

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Shillong, Mar 7 (UNI) Meghalaya Democratic Party president Martle N Mukhim was among the main losers in the just concluded Meghalaya poll as the state is heading for another hung Assembly.

Mr Mukhim lost to United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate Remington Pyngrope by a narrow margin of 66 votes in his home constituency, East Khasi Hills District.

MDP, which fielded 18 seats, has failed to retain any of them in the 60-member House. The party had won four seats in the last Assembly election.

Among the Congress candidates, who had to bite the dust, included Health and Family Welfare Minister Debora C Marak, Agriculture Minister Manirul Islam Sarkar, Assembly Deputy Speaker Phingwell Muktieh and former chief ministers Salseng C Marak, K K Dkhar and Irin Lyngdoh.

However, prominet winners among the Congress candidates were Chief Minister D D Lapang, who defeated his rival Celestine Lyngdoh of UDP by 702 votes.

Mr Lapang's Cabinet colleagues Dr Mukul M Sangma, Charles Pyngrope, Prestone Tynsong and Nehlang Lyngdoh retained their seats.

Leader of Opposition and NCP candidate Admiral K Sangma from Dalamgiri constituency also lost his seat to Congress candidate Saleng Sangma of Congress by 1,114 votes.

Biting the dust along with him were three-time sitting MLAs Pynshai M Syiem and Edmund K Sangma.

However, NCP leader P A Sangma, who was projected as NCP's Chief Ministerial candidate, along with his two other sons Conrad A Sangma and James K Sangma sail through for the eight Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Veteran UDP leaders Mihsalan Suchiang, Singh Mulieh, R L Tariang, P T Sawkmie were among the prominent losers.

Deputy Chief Minister and UDP president Dr Donkupar Roy retained his Shella seat. Former chief minister J D Rymbai, who quit the Congress and joined the UDP also retained his seat, while former Chief Minister E K Mawlong returned to the Assembly.

Oldest legislator and eight-time winner Hopingstone Lyngdoh also retained his seat while former chief minister F A Khonglam lost his Sohra seat to Congress candidate P W Khongjee.

Other political parties, which suffered a major setback, included the BJP and Khun Hynniewtrep Nastional Awakening Movement.

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