TURA, Oct 15 - After a turbulent poll for the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), the National People�s Party (NPP) emerged as the largest party, though it faces a huge challenge in forming the next Executive Committee after failing to gain majority.
The NPP won a total of 10 out of 29 seats followed by the Congress with seven, three seats for a resurgent GNC, one each for the BJP and NCP, with seven Independents set to be the kingmakers in the Council.
However, the UDP failed to open their account. In the 29-member council, only four candidates managed to retain their seats, all belonging to the NPP. They are Denang T Sangma from Williamnagar, Boston Marak from Nogorpara, Sukharam Sangma from Rongrong and Dipul Sangma from Rochonpara.
All the members of the previous Executive Committee, including its Chairman Purno K Sangma and Chief Executive Member Alphonse Sangma, lost the elections from Jengjal and Siju, respectively.
The emergence of the GNC has been a fresh breath for those that wrote off the party. Clifford Maraks�s nephew, Augustine Marak is now among the young guns who will take up the mantle of providing a bigger platform in upcoming battles. Two non-indigenous candidates � Sofiur Rahman (Independent) and SG Esmatur Mominin (NPP) � won Shyamnagar and Balachanda constituencies, respectively.
Both Rahman and Mominin said that they would oppose any move to exclude non-indigenous people�s participation from the Council. �People in plain belt areas have voted me to protect their �right to vote�. I will fulfil their aspiration and oppose any move to exclude non-tribals from the Council,� said Rahman. Bhupendra Hajong of BJP defeated INC candidate Jogadish Hajong in Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his legislator wife Dikkanchi D Shira�s home ground Zikzak Constituency. The BJP also put up a good show at Naguapara Constituency, where it stood second. Dhormonath Sangma of Congress won the Naguapara Constituency with a margin of 2,097 votes.
Working president of NPP, Conrad Sangma, thanked the people of Garo Hills for giving mandate for non-Congress parties. �As the single largest party, we will stake claim with support from BJP and GNC candidates. BJP has assured to lend their support to us. We are in talking terms with GNC,� said Conrad.
However, the NPP would still require further support as even with the GNC and BJP support, it still falls short by two for a majority. The party would have to approach Independent candidates to complete the numbers and keep a stable Council, something that the NPP team is already working on.