Shillong: The ruling Congress in Meghalaya has lost ground to the P A Sangma-led National Peoples Party and the regional parties in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Though Congress MP Vincent H Pala retained the Shillong seat, the winning margin has narrowed from 67,520 in 2009 to only 40,348 in 2014 clearly indicating an increasing dominance of the regional parties. He secured 2,09,288 votes as against 2,32,270 votes in 2009.
Church leader P B M Basaiawmoit who contested as an Independent candidate but supported by two lesser known regional parties in the state secured 1,68,940 votes while Paul Lyngdoh, supported by the Opposition United Democratic Party, secured 1,06,806 votes.
In the Garo Hills region, the Congress has lost as the winning margin of P A Sangma`s daughter Agatha Sangma and P A Sangma himself has increased from 17,964 to 21,771 in 2009 and 2014 respectively.
The former Lok Sabha speaker had represented the Tura seat in western part of the state dominated by the Garo tribals eight times in the past since 1972 and he won the 2014 elections comfortably by a margin of 39,716 votes against Congress candidate Daryl Momin.
The BJP also sprang surprises too as its candidate Shibun Lyngdoh earned 95,959 votes. The party did not contest in 2009 the Lok Sabha elections.
Sitting Congress MP Vincent H Pala however, blamed the BJP and the NOTA button for his diminishing winning margin in his constituency.
"In the last elections the BJP did not contest. This time the Modi wave has had its minute impact on the voters besides the presence of NOTA," he said.
The NPP chief on the other hand expressed confidence that the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would accommodate all parties who had forged a pre-poll alliance with the NDA including the NPP and the other regional parties in the North East.
He stopped short of seeking a cabinet berth though stating, "I do not aspire for any position in the cabinet. My job is to go back to the Parliament and ensure that the problems in Meghalaya are resolved."