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Youngest MP retains seat in Meghalaya
Correspondent SHILLONG MAY 16:
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Published on 17 May. 2009 1:43 AM IST
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India’s youngest MP Agatha K Sangma of the NCP Saturday retained her Tura parliamentary seat, while the Congress continued its strangled-hold on the Shillong parliamentary seat. Though, the NCP romped home, everybody was shocked with the slender margin of Agatha, the youngest daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma by a slender margin of 17,945. Agatha polled 15, 4476 votes, while her main rival Deborah C Marak of the Congress secured 13,6531 votes. “We are shocked that the margin of her (Agatha) win would come down so drastically,” an NCP worker said. In the last Tura Lok Sabha by election held last year after her father and former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma vacated the seat as a result of his return to the state politics, Agatha defeated her rival Congress candidate Zenith Sangma by a huge margin of 99, 855 votes. The comfort she can derive, however, this time is the fact that she fought the election much on her own as her father was bogged down in the recent political turmoil which saw the exit of the NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government. Former Meghalaya Finance Minister and NCP MLA Conrad K Sangma admitted that the slim victory of his sister (Agatha) was because of over-confidence and also that Purno A Sangma didn’t have time to campaign for his daughter. “We are not happy by the margin of win but internally we know where we went wrong,” Conrad said. In fact, in this election Agatha was on her own as there was no star campaigner who campaigned for her. Even Congress candidate Deborah Marak had to campaign on her own as Congress leader including Chief Minister DD Lapang didn’t have time to campaign for her as he was busy trying to form a Congress-led coalition government in the state. “It is the first time in history that the Congress did so well in Garo Hills. This proves to show that the people are confident on the Congress party both here in Meghalaya and in the country,” Lapang said on the overall performance of the party in the Lok Sabha elections. In Shillong parliamentary seat, the Congress continued its strangled-hold on the Shillong parliamentary seat with political novice Vincent H Pala defeating his nearest United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate by a margin of 1, 07, 868 votes. Pala polled a total of 2, 32, 270 votes against Kharshiing who managed to get 1, 24, 402 votes in a seven cornered contest. Union Tribal Affairs Minister and sitting Congress MP from Shillong seat PR Kyndiah had opted out of the electoral politics. Lapang said on the Congress party victory in Shillong that his party would try to build on the confidence entrusted by the people. “We will not try to misuse the mandate given to us by the people,” he stated.

 
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