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By Our Reporter | Shillong/Tura, Aug 26, 2018: 

Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma’s future as CM of the state will hinge on the results of the by-election to South Tura Assembly Constituency, counting for which will begin early morning tomorrow.

While in Ranikor, though the CM is optimistic of NPP’s victory, he, however, cautiously remarked “Win or lose in Ranikor, the equations in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) will remain the same.”

Counting tomorrow will be keenly watched as the direction that the current MDA coalition government led by the NPP takes henceforth, will depend on the results of the South Tura by-election.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya | NPP will win both Ranikor and South Tura seats: Conrad

South Tura, which went to polls this past Thursday, August 23 saw the town vote for the 4 contestants in the fray, which other than the CM included Congress’ Charlotte W Momin, former South Tura MLA, John Leslee K Sangma (Independent) and Kris Kabul Sangma (Independent).

While the CM goes as the firm favourite to win the seat, the other contestants too sounded confident of a good show. Interestingly one of the contestants, John Leslee K Sangma has already indicated that the current poll will be his last.

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The election had been fought on the statement of the CM on work permits for Bangladeshi migrants as well as the job reservation policy. The opposition to the CM not only sought answers from the CM on the matter but went to the voters on the subjects.

Conrad’s younger sister Agatha Sangma, who was an MLA from South Tura, had vacated the seat to pave way for her brother to win from this seat and retain CM’s seat.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya: Fate of 8 candidates of South Tura, Ranikor bypolls sealed; Counting on Aug 27

Ranikor which went to polls simultaneously with South Tura on August 23 witnessed a straight fight between former Minister, Martin M Danggo, who is contesting from NPP ticket and UDP candidate, Pius Marwein.

Going by the indications, Danggo, who had represented Ranikor constituency since 1998, is facing an uphill task to retain the seat. The UDP candidate is giving the former MLA of Ranikor a tough fight in this election.

It may be mentioned that in the Assembly polls held in February this year, Danggo had defeated Marwein by only over 2000 votes.

The other two candidates who are also in the fray from Ranikor constituency include Congress candidate Jackuish K Sangma and PDF chairman Pynshgain N Syiem.

In Pictures | Meghalaya Bypolls: Voters exercise franchise in South Tura, Ranikor

It may be mentioned that Danggo, a five time MLA, had quit Congress to join Conrad Sangma led National People’s Party.

South Tura assembly constituency in West Garo Hills district has around 30,230 voters spread across 36 polling stations. Ranikor assembly constituency in South West Khasi Hills district bordering Bangladesh has 65 polling stations with a total of 29,685 voters.

In Ranikor, the counting centre will be stationed at the Deputy Commissioner’s complex at Mawkyrwat, the district headquarter of South West Khasi Hills while counting for South Tura will be held at the ATC, Tura, Meghalaya CEO, Frederick R Kharkongor  had informed.

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