Ampati: The opposition Congress retained the Ampati Assembly seat in Meghalaya on Thursday by a margin of over 3,000 votes, officials said.
With this victory, the Congress has increased its strength to 21 and emerged as the single largest party in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.
The ruling National People`s Party which is heading the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has 20 members and is supported by seven members of the United Democratic Party, four from People`s Democratic Front, two each from Bharatiya Janata Party and Hill State People`s Democratic Party, one Nationalist Congress Party besides two Independents.
Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said Congress` candidate Miani Dalbot Shira secured 14,259 votes, while her nearest rival Clement Momin of the ruling National People`s Party bagged the 11,068 votes.
Miani is the eldest daughter of Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who had represented the Ampati assembly constituency for six consecutive times.
Independent candidate Subhankar Koch could muster only 360 votes.
The victory margin of the Congress candidate was 3,191 votes.
The by-poll on May 28 was necessitated after Mukul Sangma relinquished the seat in March after he was elected from here as well as Songsak assembly constituency defeating senior NPP leader Nihim Dalbot Shira.
Interestingly, the BJP did not field its candidate, despite Bakul Hajong, who lost the February 27 assembly polls, was keen to contest the by-poll.