Battle of Sangmas sealed in ballot box

The swords are back in their sheaths and the curtains have come down on Meghalaya Assembly elections, 2018. With the fates of candidates sealed in ballot boxes on Tuesday, the political parties are now waiting for Saturday, the counting day.

By Saidul Khan
  • Published 28.02.18
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Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma, his wife Dikkanchi D. Shira (top) and (above) NPP chief Conrad K. Sangma show their inked fingers after voting on Tuesday. (Saidul Khan)

Tura: The swords are back in their sheaths and the curtains have come down on Meghalaya Assembly elections, 2018. With the fates of candidates sealed in ballot boxes on Tuesday, the political parties are now waiting for Saturday, the counting day.

The Garo hills, dubbed as the political hub of Meghalaya, witnessed a high-voltage campaign with Mukul Sangma, Congress leader and incumbent chief minister, and Conrad K. Sangma, chief of National People's Party (NPP), single-handedly steering the elections in Garo hills.

The 2018 Assembly election was clearly a battle of the two Sangmas. Mukul is in the fray in two constituencies, Ampati, his home turf in South West Garo Hills district, and Songsak in East Garo Hills.

Conrad, the Tura MP, is not in the fray but he made every effort to reach out to the electorate.

Till counting day dawns, Conrad, after voting at Boldoka Lower Primary School at Selsella in West Garo Hills district, left for New Delhi to meet his six-year-old daughter Amara, who studies there under the care of a family member. He wants to bring her back on March 2. His wife Mehtab Chandee stayed back in Tura with their second daughter, who was born in December last year.

Mukul remained in his constituency. He voted at Chengkompara Lower Primary School at Ampati with his wife Dikkanchi D. Shira and their two daughters.

The NPP candidate for South Tura constituency, Agatha K. Sangma, who is Conrad's sister and a former Union minister, voted at Walbakgre Lower Primary School.

The NPP candidate for North Tura constituency Thomas A. Sangma, a former Rajya Sabha MP, voted at Government Boy's Higher Secondary School, Tura.

Both Conrad and Mukul said they had done their best to put the vision of their respective parties before the people and hoped for a positive mandate.