HSPDP defeats Congress in Meghalaya by-poll

Shillong, Nov 24 (IANS) The opposition HSPDP’s Diosstarness Jyndiang won the by-elections in Meghalaya’s Nongstoin assembly constituency by defeating his nearest rival Gabriel Wahlang of the ruling Congress by 2,764 votes, an election official said.

The by-election was necessitated following the death of Hill State People’s Democratic Party’s (HSPDP) Hoping Stone Lyngdoh in September. Lyngdoh had helmed the party with the “lion” symbol for several years.

Jyndiang, a former aide of Lyngdoh and the youngest candidate amongst the four contenders, secured 1,1189 votes while Wahlang, a former deputy chairman of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, garnered 8,425 votes.

Two other candidates in the by-poll – Mosklandar Marngar of the United Democratic Party and lone woman independent candidate Fenela Lyngdoh Nonglait polled 1,257 and 3,131 votes respectively.

Both Marngar and Nonglait lost their security deposit.

Of the 24,002 votes polled, 189 voters opted for the None of the Above (NOTA) category in the by-election.

“HSPDP retaining its Nongstoin assembly seat in the by-election shows that people of Meghalaya have lost faith in the Congress party,” HSPDP supremo Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit told IANS.

With this victory in the by-election, Basaiawmoit said that his party will now strive forward to overthrow the Congress party from leading the state in the 2018 assembly elections.

In the 60-member legislature, the HSPDP now has four seats in the 60-member House assembly.

The Congress, which is leading the Meghalaya United Alliance government, has 30 members and it is supported by the Nationalist Congress Party, which has two members, one member from the North-east Democratic Socialist Party and 11 independent legislators.

The opposition Meghalaya People’s Front is made up of eight United Democratic Party legislators, two from the National People’s Party.

The HSPDP and two independent legislators are not part of the Meghalaya People’s Front.

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