Meghalaya Assembly Election 2023: The people of Meghalaya will decide the political fate of 369 candidates on Monday. Voting will be held for 60 seats in Meghalaya tomorrow. The assembly elections being held in Meghalaya this year feature several political parties in the form of the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. Apart from all this, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has also entered the election field to try its luck. Over 21 lakh voters will vote in 59 polling constituencies on Monday to decide the fate of the contesting parties. According to the Election Commission, polling will be held at a total of 3,419 polling stations across the state. The polling started at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm on Monday.
However, the polling for the Sohyeong assembly constituency was postponed following the death of former state home minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate from the seat, HDR Lyngdoh. In the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, the National People’s Party has the highest number of 20 seats, followed by the United Democratic Party with 8 seats. Besides this, the BJP and the People’s Democratic Front have two seats each. However, 20 seats remained vacant in the wake of several resignations by members of the assembly.
Voting will be held tomorrow, see full details
Of the 60 assembly constituencies in Meghalaya, 36 constituencies fall in the Khasi, Jaintia Hills region while 24 constituencies fall in the Garo Hills region. Although the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the 2018 assembly elections, winning 21 out of 60 seats, the National People’s Party (NPP), which won 20 seats, formed a post-poll government in alliance with regional parties and the BJP. The United Democratic Party (UDP) held six seats.
While the ruling NPP is contesting on 57 seats, the Trinamool Congress has fielded candidates on 56 seats. The United Democratic Party is contesting on 46 seats.
The NPP, which went with the BJP in the last assembly polls, aims to win a majority on its own and return to power for a second consecutive term.
On the other hand, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), which became the principal opposition party in Meghalaya in 2021 following the defection of 12 Congress MLAs, has emerged as an electoral player after former chief minister Mukul Sangma joined the party. TMC has fielded candidates on 58 seats including Shillong.
NPP wants to retain power and BJP and other parties are expected to spoil their plans, here are the constituencies they are eyeing.
South Tura First on the list is South Tura where the contest is between Chief Minister Konrad Sangma and Bernard N Marak of the BJP. Congress has fielded Brainjeeld Ch Marak on this seat.
West Shillong Second on the list is West Shillong where the BJP has fielded its state chief Ernest Mowry, one of the most prominent faces of the party in the state.
Mohendro Rapsang is the candidate of the ruling NPP and is pitted against TMC’s Ivan Maria.
Satanga Saipung This seat assumes significance as Congress state chief Vincent Pala is contesting from Satanga Saipung constituency for the first time. Pala’s performance in the elections could have a significant impact on the political landscape of Meghalaya. Currently serving as the Member of Parliament from Shillong, he will be pitted against UDP’s Sutanga Sapung MLA Shitlang Paley and NPP candidates Santa Marie Shyla and BJP’s Krishan Langstang.
These two constituencies, Songsak and Tikrikilla, have become prominent as former chief minister and current leader of opposition in Meghalaya, Mukul Sangma, is contesting both these seats on a TMC ticket. In the 2018 elections, Sangma won from both Ampati and Songsak constituencies as a Congress candidate. However, he left Congress and joined Trinamool Congress in 2021. In Songsak, Sangma will be up against NPP’s Nihim D Shira, Congress’s Champion R Sangma and BJP’s Thomas N Marak.
The main contest in Tikrikila will be between MLA Jimmy D Sangma of NPP, Dr Kapin Cha Boro of Congress, Rahinath Barchung Rabha of BJP and Julius T Sangma of UDP. There are more than 21 lakh voters (21,75,236) out of which 10.99 lakh are female and 10.68 lakh are male voters.
In Meghalaya, the number of women voters is higher than their male counterparts. There are approximately 81,000 first-time voters in the state. A total of 369 candidates are in the fray of which 36 are women.