SHILLONG, June 19 - WR Kharlukhi, nominee of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) Government, was today elected to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Meghalaya. He defeated his Congress rival, Kennedy Khyriem, by 20 votes. Kharlukhi got 39 out of the total 58 valid votes cast in the 60-member House. The Congress candidate, on the other hand, bagged 19 votes.
The Rajya Sabha seat was earlier held by Wansuk Syiem of the Congress, whose term ended last month.
Kharlukhi, president of the Meghalaya unit of the National People�s Party (NPP) for a long time, has been close to the Sangma family right from the times of late PA Sangma, political heavyweight from the hill State.
�Congratulations Dr WR Kharlukhi for being elected to the Rajya Sabha from Meghalaya. I thank all the MDA partners for bestowing their support to the National People�s Party,� Chief Minister Conrad Sangma tweeted.
Power Minister, James Sangma also took to Twitter to congratulate Kharlukhi: �Heartiest congratulations to Dr Kharlukhi for being elected to the Rajya Sabha from Meghalaya. We look forward to you serving the people of Meghalaya and we are confident that the State will immensely benefit from your knowledge, experience and commitment.�
Earlier, voting began at 9 am at the Assembly with adequate health precautions. Health officials were present on the occasion and the MLAs maintained social distancing during polling.