SHILLONG, Oct 24 - The United Democratic Party (UDP) today retained the Shella seat with its candidate, Balajiedkupar Synrem, defeating his nearest rival, Grace Mary Kharpuri, an Independent candidate, by 6,221 votes.
Synrem, son of former Meghalaya Chief Minister late Donkupar Roy, bagged 12,002 votes, while the Independent candidate got 5,781 votes.
The result threw up a little surprise as the Congress put up a poor display as its candidate, Batyngshain Laitmon Ryngnga, came fourth with 1,715 votes. The Congress candidate was expected to give a tough fight to the UDP.
People�s Democratic Party candidate Mosjo Rockfeller Wanswett came third with 4,327 votes. Of the six candidates in the fray, the BJP nominee came fifth with just 742 votes.
Synrem took an early lead when the counting of votes began this morning and maintained it till the counting ended.
He created a record as this was for the first time that the victory margin of the winning candidate in the constituency had crossed the 1000-vote mark.
This seat was earlier held by Roy, who was the Speaker of the Assembly and the president of the UDP at the time of his demise on July 28 this year. Roy�s demise necessitated the bypoll and the party fielded his son.
Roy held the seat for seven consecutive terms, but his victory margin never crossed 1,000 votes. His highest victory margin was 939 votes in the 2008 Assembly polls and the lowest victory margin was 222 votes in the 2003 Assembly elections.
Even in the last Assembly election in 2018, Roy won the seat by a razor-thin margin of 370 votes. In fact, the cumulative winning margin for the past seven elections in this seat is 3,857 votes as against Synrem�s victory margin of 6,221 votes.
Observers that many people voted for Synrem, a debutant in electoral politics, due to their emotional attachment to his father.
Synrem and the UDP were also assisted by the NPP as it refrained from fielding its candidate and backed the UDP. NPP president and Chief Minister Conrad Sangma campaigned extensively for Synrem along with his Cabinet colleagues.