By IBANKYNTIEW MAWRIE | Shillong, Aug 27, 2018:
It seemed the statement made by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on the eve of the counting day regarding the ‘unmoved’ equations in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) “if NPP loses Ranikor” was a clear indication of the “doubt” clouding the CM’s mind on the prospect of the National People’s Party in Ranikor.
Even before the results were declared on Monday, the CM was quick to assert that whatever be the outcome in Ranikor, the coalition will not suffer; As if he knew that the MDA partner — United Democratic Alliance (UDP) would emerge victorious.
It may be mentioned that while the NPP retained South Tura Assembly Seat following a landslide victory, it, however, failed to make a mark in Ranikor following which its tally in the House of 60 is now at par with the Congress, both having 20 MLAs each.
UDP’s Pius Marwein took over the reign from the former Congress heavyweight following a tough battle in Ranikor. UDP managed to secured 13183 votes while NPP could gather only 10287 votes. UDP won by a margin of 2896 votes, INC secured 938, PDF at 1978 and NOTA at 184.
While it was an expected outcome in South Tura, the interesting political developments in Ranikor, however, is a direct slap on the 5 times former Congress legislator from Ranikor, Martin M Danggo, who vacated the seat to join the NPP, the same of which had necessitated the by poll in this constituency.
ALSO WATCH what Meghalaya CM has to say on NPP’s defeat in Ranikor
NPP’s SURPRISED YET JOYOUS OVER DEFEAT IN RANIKOR
The Meghalaya CM, of course, expressed his disbelief over the defeat of the NPP in Ranikor but he also expressed his ‘happiness’ over UDP’s victory stating that the alliance partner has won the seat and it is still very much in the coalition.
“We had dared to hope as a party that we would win the seat because MM Danggo is a very senior leader and loved by many but it was a surprise to us that he lost, but I am happy that our coalition partner — UDP has won the seat,” said Conrad soon after Ranikor bypoll results was declared today.
In his defence, the MDA chairman and Head of the Government has stated that with the UDP’s victory in Ranikor, the coalition has gained. “We have managed to win one seat each. It did not go as expected from the party’s side but as a chairman of MDA and as head of the state, I congratulate Pius Marwein for winning Ranikor. I am happy that our MDA strength has gone up by one more,” said Conrad.
ALSO WATCH what UDP’s Pius Marwein has to say after winning Ranikor
WHAT LED TO DANGGO’S DOWNFALL?
Danggo’s defeat has given rise to many questions with many blaming the former Ranikor MLA’s decision to defect from the Congress to NPP as the main reason behind his downfall.
“Conspiracy was doing the round to bring him down. This could all be the sinister plan of the Congress to teach defectors a lesson. The Congress might have lost, but then again, it managed to score a brownie point by his (Danggo) defeat,” said a Shillong-based Professor who does not wish to be named.
Looking at the results of the 2018 Assembly elections in the state, Danggo had then defeated UDP’s Pius Marwein by a margin of over 2000 votes. And this time round, the winning margin was more or less the same, but instead of Danggo, Marwein’s UDP flag was fluttering high in Ranikor.
Political analysts were of the view that Danggo’s decision to jump from the Congress to NPP was indeed a bad move, a decision which ultimately led to his downfall. “This shows that people are wise and his defeat will act as a warning to those legislators who intend to defect from one party to another. The people have given their mandate — there is no place for defectors,” said the Professor.
Meanwhile, a social activist (name withheld) is of the view that Danggo’s defeat reflects the mindset of the people; It seems the people of Ranikor are longing for a change because for the past 20 years, it looked like Danggo was unable to fulfill the aspiration of the electorates and maybe all these years when the Congress was in power, nothing materialized and this might have prompted them to vote for change, for a different face, a different party.
WHAT OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES HAVE TO SAY ON DANGGO’s DEFEAT
Here is what the Congress has to say: MPCC spokesperson, Zenith Sangma said — Defection is the main cause of Danggo’s defeat. People out there felt humiliated as the mass was not consulted when he decided to defect to the NPP. The so-called “sacrifice” for Civil subdivision was all “Drama baazi”. Defection was an immature decision because he was not steady. Greed is also another factor why he defected. “It’s a lesson to any such politician.”
Being a Congress bastion, the humiliating defeat of the Grand Old Party in Ranikor is a different thing altogether. “In politics everything cannot be divulged… ” he said.
And here is what the UDP has to say: Senior Working president of the UDP, Bindo M Lanong agreed that Danggo’s defection to the NPP was the major cause. Defecting from a party which has brought him to power five times from 1998-2018 is nothing short of a ‘serious betrayal’ for the Congress. “I mean a leader who has good intention and conscience will not do what Danggo did… that is my personal opinion,” he said.
When it comes to development, Lanong is of the view that Danggo has not done anything for the growth and development of the constituency for last 20 years.”He has neglected the constituency … there is no development in Agri, Horti, health care, education and road and communication sector,” he added.
Furthermore, Lanong said that Danggo shouldn’t have relinquished the elected office only after 3 months since he was voted for the 5th time. “The people have reposed their faith on him for the fifth time but within 3 months, he relinquished the post; so therefore, it is like betraying the people and not just the Congress,” he added.
(The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)