Meghalaya results: End of road for PA Sangma?

Last Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 - 11:08

Imphal: Former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma was handed out a shocker by the Meghalaya electorate after his newly floated National People’s Party managed to win just two seats out of the 33 it contested in the assembly polls.

A political stalwart, PA Sangma would not have ever imagined that his magic would evaporate so soon in Meghalaya, especially in his stronghold Garo Hills. Among PA Sangma’s two sons who were in the race – Conrad and James – only James made it through. Interestingly, Conrad was being dubbed as the next CM.

The Congress under Mukul Sangma won 13 out of the 24 seats in Garo Hills. Over all the Congress won 29 out of the 60 seats, failing just one short of absolute majority. The victory is as good as an absolute majority given the fractured nature of state’s polity.

Experts feel the story of the stunning results in Meghalaya is not that much about the Congress’ victory as much it is of Sangma’s loss.

Sangma had founded his tribal-centric NPP after losing the presidential election to Pranab Mukherjee last year. A founding member of NCP, which he founded in 1999 along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar, he resigned after the party refused to back his presidential candidature.

His strength in Garo Hills was well known - he was elected nine times to Parliament from the Hills. In 2008, Sangma ensured victory to 13 candidates of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), of which he was then a member.

NPP was seen as his attempt to stay relevant in state’s politics. Although it would be too early to write him off completely, but the shock defeat gives Sangma enough reasons to contemplate and decided on a midway course correction.

First Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 - 09:56
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