Mukul bastion mantle falls on Miani

Cong retains Ampati seat

By Andrew W. Lyngdoh
  • Published 1.06.18
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Miani D. Shira and her husband Daryll William Ch. Momin flash the victory sign in Ampati on Thursday. Picture by Andrew W. Lyngdoh

Ampati: The might of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), led by the National People’s Party (NPP), failed to win the hearts of the Ampati electorate who reposed their faith in the Opposition Congress.

The party retained Ampati with Miani D. Shira defeating her nearest rival, Clement G. Momin of the NPP, by 3,191 votes.
The Congress has now become the single largest party in the Assembly with 21 legislators. The NPP has 20 members while its alliance partners like the UDP has seven, PDF four, HSPDP and BJP two each, one NCP legislator and two Independents.

Miani, 27, Mukul’s eldest daughter, secured 14,259 votes while Momin, who had the backing of the BJP, could manage 11,068 votes. Independent candidate Subhankar Koch forfeited his security deposit as he managed to get a mere 360 votes. None of the above (Nota) option registered 208 votes.

The winning margin of Mukul in Ampati in the February polls was more than 8,000. The bypoll was necessitated after Mukul left this seat and retained Songsak.

The counting of votes began at 8am at the deputy commissioner’s office here but just before 11am, it was confirmed that Miani had won and she was duly elected to succeed her father.

With this victory, this is the first time that father, mother and daughter are members of the same Assembly. Mukul’s wife Dikkanchi D. Shira is an MLA from Mahendraganj.

The high profile campaign of the NPP, led by chief minister Conrad K. Sangma, and where nearly all cabinet ministers campaigned for Momin, failed to make any impact. Conrad, who has been in the saddle for nearly three months, threw everything at the campaign in a bid to turn the tide against the Congress. However, the results were a testimony to something else.

Celebrations erupted soon after news spread that Miani had won the seat after a long, hard-fought battle. People danced to the tune of Garo songs at Mukul’s residence in Chengkompara while the former chief minister rendered How great Thou art and We shall overcome.

After having overcome the biggest hurdle yet in her debut political electoral career, Miani was all smiles in spite of the stress of a gruelling campaign. “No matter what, truth always prevails and hard work pays off,” the young legislator said. Dedicating the victory to the people of Ampati, Miani said, “This has been one of a kind experience. I learnt to be patient and calm throughout this election.”

Her priorities are to take care of her constituency and the people. “I have a lot of things on my mind,” she said, stressing on the need to develop human resources right up to the state level.

After a bitter campaign, Miani said she would teach people to love one another and be kind to each other. “The people have seen and experienced (what transpired in the run-up to the poll) and they know the truth — what is right, what is wrong and who is right and who is wrong.”

Her message to her political rivals was simple: “No power in the world, no money in the world can buy true relationship, true love and the actual truth.”