UDP supporters celebrating at Shillong's Polo Ground

Shillong: Loud cheers and music echoed in the parking area at Polo Ground of Shillong city as supporters, mainly of the United Democratic Party (UDP), gathered to show their support to Mawphlang constituency winning candidate Eugeneson Lyngdoh.

Results of the by-polls to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly were officially announced on Tuesday afternoon. A total of 13 candidates were in the fray. Three assembly constituencies of Mawryngkneng, Mawphlang and Rajabala went to the polls on October 30.

Failing to make a comeback, the Congress lost both the Mawryngkneng and Rajabala seats which was once its stronghold. While at Mawphlang, Congress candidate Kennedy Khyriem lost to UDP’s Eugeneson Lyngdoh

NPP, who is leading the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, has been able to secure two seats – Rajabala and Mawryngkneng. Calm and composed, winning candidate Pyniaid Syiem of the NPP was greeted by his supporters at Polo Ground where the counting was taking place.  

Speaking with mediapersons, Syiem said it was not his victory but the victory of the people. “It was a challenge because our opponent the Congress party leveled several allegations against us. They tried to bring in the anti-incumbency factor against the MDA govt but they didn’t succeed because the people from the constituency were smarter,” said Syiem.

Making a visit to the counting center, NPP candidate Lamphrang Blah, who lost to UDP’s Eugeneson Lyngdoh, claimed sympathy factor played a major role. Blah added that he did not have ample time to campaign, hence he lost.

Failing to get a Congress ticket, Blah had switched sides and joined the NPP after he was given a ticket to contest from the Mawphlang constituency. Blah added that he will continue to work with the NPP and will be ready to contest for 2023 elections.

Meanwhile, as supporters anxiously waited for their young candidate, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who defeated Congress’ Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem with a margin of 4,401 votes, a final announcement was made by the returning officer and handed over the election certificate to Lyngdoh.

Agreeing that sympathy factor did have an influence, Lyngdoh said that his priority will be to serve the people at the utmost level. “One year is a very short time, the past two years due to COVID time has just passed by and similarly 2022 is going to go by very fast,” said Lyngdoh.

He added that he wasn’t sure whether he will be able to complete all the work in a year’s time since there’s several pending work of his late father SK Sunn. 

Asked about the challenges, Lyngdoh said that shifting profession from being a football player to being a politician. “At the start it is not easy but as time goes by I will learn,” he said.

Thanking his supporters for having faith in him and giving him an opportunity, Lyngdoh said the people have seen his late father’s work in the past three years, hence they had voted for him.

EastMojo interacted with some UDP supporters who were dancing to celebrate the victory.

One supporter named Alice said that Eugeneson is a young and dynamic candidate, hence they had full faith in him that he will take Mawphlang constituency to greater heights. 

Another supporter said that Eugeneson had no negative marking and has a character in the eyes of the public. 

As for Rajabala, NPP national president Conrad K Sangma made himself available to be with the winning candidate, Md. Abdus Saleh. Saleh defeated his nearest opponent Hasina Yashmin Mondal of the Congress by a margin of over 1,900 votes. 

Sangma, who is also the chief minister of Meghalaya, said, “If we look at the history of Rajabala since NCP’s time, we have never won the seat but this time we have crossed 11,000 votes… this is in fact a great response from the people who showed us their support, and, therefore, it’s a clear mandate for the government. Thereby, a clear indication of the development work that the MDA government was doing all these years.”

Also read: Meghalaya: AVENUES founder bags Asian Youth Empowerment Leader Award

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