Northeast News – MDA allies sweep bypolls – The Shillong Times

by Guwahati_City

SHILLONG/ TURA, Nov 2: The Opposition Congress suffered a setback by failing to retain Rajabala and Mawryngkneng seats as the ruling coalition consolidated its position by winning all three Assembly seats where by-elections were held on October 30.
NPP candidates Pyniaid Sing Syiem and Md Abdus Saleh won from Mawryngkneng and Rajabala while UDP candidate and former national footballer, Eugeneson Lyngdoh won the Mawphlang seat that his deceased father SK Sunn had represented.
The results have given the NPP and UDP a boost ahead of the general elections due in the next 15 months.
Eugeneson defeated his nearest Congress rival and former MLA, Kennedy C. Khyriem by a margin of 4,401 votes. A total of 13,285 were polled in favour of Lyngdoh while the Congress candidate got 8,884.
NPP candidate Lamphrang Blah secured 5,103 votes while 202 voters chose the NOTA (none of the above) option.
In Mawryngkneng, NPP’s Syiem – also the KHADC chairman – defeated his nearest Congress rival, Highlander Kharmalki by a margin of 1,816 votes. A total of 14,177 were polled in favour of Syiem while Kharmalki got 12,361 votes.
Independent candidate and former Congress leader, Norbert Marboh secured 1,400 votes while two others – Esron Marwein and Arbiankam Kharsohmat – secured 485 and 214 votes respectively. A total of 238 voters pressed NOTA.
NPP candidate Saleh sailed through in Rajabala, defeating his nearest Congress rival, Hashina Yasmin Mondal by 1,926 votes. Out of 29,681 votes polled, Saleh managed 11,823 while Mondal ended up with 9,897 votes after the completion of nine rounds of counting. The UDP’s Ashahel D. Shira failed to live up to expectations and came third with 7,247 votes polled in his favour.
Two other candidates in the fray – BJP’s Kingston B. Marak and independent candidate Carla R. Sangma – could manage only 333 and 255 votes respectively. A total of 174 voters opted for NOTA.
Syiem, who had failed twice earlier to become an MLA, told reporters that the Congress had gone all out against him during the campaign with a volley of allegations.
“Congress tried to create an anti-NPP and anti-MDA government wave among the voters. But the people reposed faith in the government by electing me,” he said, outlining his developmental plan for Mawryngkneng.
Footballer-turned-politician Lyngdoh said the people elected him because they saw his father work for the development of Mawphlang. “I will follow up on the initiatives my father could not complete. My victory also ensures that the legacy of my father will continue,” he said.
Asked if he will have enough time to serve the people, Lyngdoh said he would like to make the most of the time available. He said the major challenge will be to shift his mind from professional football to active politics.
“But I am hopeful I will be able to learn the tricks with the passage of time,” he said.
Khyriem said the ruling party will always have an upper hand in a by-election but the margin of victory came as a surprise to him.
He said he will start to work for the 2023 Assembly polls. “We will meet in the next 10 days to decide on our future course of action,” he said.
Accepting the people’s verdict, Blah said he will continue to remain with the NPP and strengthen the party in the constituency. He said he barely had two weeks to campaign for the bypolls but will work harder to prepare for the 2023 Assembly polls.
“I am happy that the people have accepted my decision to associate with the NPP,” the NPP candidate, also a Member of District Council in the KHADC said.

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Eugeneson Lyngdoh                      UDP                 13285
Kennedy Khyriem                         Congress           8884
Lamphrang Blah                            NPP                   5103
None Of The Above                      ___                     202

Pyniaid Sing Syiem                        NPP                  14177
Highlander Kharmalki                 Congress           12361
Arbiangkam Kharsohmat           Independent         214
Esron Marwein                            Independent         485
Norbert Marboh                          Independent       1400
None Of The Above                      ___                      238

Md. Abdus Saleh                              NPP                11823
Ashahel D. Shira                              UDP                  7247
Hashina Yasmin Mondal              Congress            9897
Kingston B. Marak                           BJP                     333
Carla R. Sangma                         Independent          255
None Of The Above                        ___                     174

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