Shillong, Mar 7: The ruling Congress today bagged nine of the 19 seats declared so far in Meghalaya as Chief Minister D D Lapang consolidated his chances of returning to the 60-member Assembly for another term. Mr Lapang retained his Nongpoh seat defeating UDP's Celestine Lyngdoh by 730 votes. NCP's chief ministerial candidate Purno A Sangma is also all set to take his party to the Assembly grabbing five of the seats declared so far. The former Lok Sabha Speaker wrested the Tura seat from Independent candidate Billykid A Sangma. Assembly Speaker Martin M Danggoo (Congress) retained the Langrin seat defeating UDP's K Lyngkhoi.
UDP's major winner so far was former deputy chief minister Donkupar Roy who bagged the Shella seat beating nearest rival Leston Wanswett of Congress by 939 votes. His party has bagged two more seats--Salmanpura, Jirang. Election to the 60-member Assembly was held on March 3. Polling in Baghmara seat in South Garo Hills was countermanded following the death of Congress MLA and candidate Sengran M Sangma. Polling would be held there on March 22, while counting will be held on March 24.