SHILLONG, Aug 27: Pius Marwein of the United Democratic Party (UDP) has become a giant killer by dint of his victory in the by elections in Ranikor constituency, the results of which were declared on Monday.
Marwein had defeated former five-time legislator Martin M Danggo of the NPP by 2896 votes in the said elections having secured 13183 votes as opposed to Danggo’s 10287 votes.
Marwein had turned the tables on Danggo who had defeated him in the state elections held in February this year by a margin of 2002 votes.
Having been elected that time around, Danggo had later resigned as the MLA of Ranikor constituency after the National People Party (NPP) – led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government had decided to upgrade Ranikor Administrative Unit into a full fledged civil sub-division which was inaugurated on July 10.
This had necessitated a by election in the constituency in which Danggo had sought re – election, albeit, this time from the NPP.
The contest saw another interesting turn with the entry of former Mawsynram MLA, Pynshngain N Syiem who had lost in the February polls to Himalaya M Shangpliang of the Congress party.
Syiem who had contested the by elections on a People’s Democratic Front (PDF) ticket however was relegated to third place in these by elections after securing 1978 votes.
The Congress party meanwhile failed to make an impression on the voters of the constituency which can be construed from the fact that its candidate, Jackiush Sangma had to forfeit his security after getting only 938 votes.
With Marwein’s victory in Ranikor and Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma winning the South Tura seat for the NPP, the political equation in Meghalaya has seen a slight change wherein both the Congress and NPP have 20 MLAs in the 60 member house. The UDP which is the main ally of the NPP in the MDA has upped its tally from 6 to 7.
The six-party MDA-led by the NPP has also increased its tally from 38 to 39. The other coalition partners include Hill State People Democratic Party (2), People’s Democratic Front (4), Bharatiya Janata Party (2) and Nationalist Congress Party (1) and 3 Independents.