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Lok Sabha Polls- Meghalaya: High voter turnout encourages candidates

First Published: 19th April, 2024 18:25 IST

Till 3 PM, the voting percentage in the Tura Lok Sabha seat was recorded at 63%

Tura, one of the 2 Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya witnessed brisk voting as people made long queues outside their respective polling booths for exercising their franchise.

The three candidates- Agatha Sangma of the NPP, Congress’ Saleng A Sangma and TMC’s Zenith Sangma were also among the early voters, who patiently waited for their turns to cast their votes.

Incumbent MP and NPP candidate, Agatha Sangma seemed quite encouraged with the healthy voter turnout. Agatha was seen standing in the queue for hours to cast her vote. Soon after casting vote, the NPP candidate said that she certainly hopes of a good show when the results will be out on June 4.

Agatha Sangma said, “I am very grateful that I had to stay in queue for 3 long hours, this shows that many people have come out for voting. This is a very positive sign. Generally, the voting percentage is low in MP elections, but I hope that it increases this time. Everyone must exercise their franchise. I thank everyone who have come to vote.”

Asked as to how optimistic she was, Agatha Sangma said, “We have made all efforts, we worked before the elections. It is not that as a candidate only I had done so, our party workers and the people of Garo Hills have worked really hard. Now everything depends on the Almighty and people of Garo Hills. So i believe that we will get good results.”

Congress candidate Saleng A Sangma believes that voter turnout reflects the people’s desire for a change.

Sangma said, “I feel good actually. I have not come to vote for myself, but for the people of Garo Hills.
Since we have made people already aware of their rights. I think people are enthusiastic coming out to vote, may be they really need a change, may be that is the reason why people are coming out to vote. Moreover, I did not see much voters coming to vote for Lok Sabha elections, but this time it seems people are more eager and enthusiastic of voting.”

TMC’s Zenith Sangma feels that people have reposed their faith on the TMC leadership and hence the party has a certain edge over it’s opponents this time.

Zenith Sangma said, “Elections are always unpredictable, but then from the response what we have seen we are confident and people are reposing their faith on the leadership of Mukul Sangma and hopefully we will sail through.

Elections are elections, so it will be a tough fight but we have the edge. We are confident that we will win because there has been massive erosion from the NPP and from the vote share of NPP, it has come to TMC as well as the Congress also.”

The polling percentage for the Tura Lok Sabha seat was recorded at 63% till 3 PM.

It was in May 2008 when Agatha Sangma succeeded her father as an MP for a brief period till May 2009.
Agatha Sangma was first elected to the Lok Sabha in a by-election in May 2008, after her father P.A. Sangma resigned from the seat to enter state politics. Later she was re elected to Lok Sabha in 2009. In 2014, Agatha was again succeeded by her father PA Sangma until his demise in 2016. In 2019, Agatha Sangma again became the Tura MP.

Saleng A Sangma is the former NCP (Meghalaya unit) president and three-time MLA from Gambegre.

Zenith Sangma is the brother of TMC leader and former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma. Zenith Sangma was the sports minister of Meghalaya from 2013 to 2018. He has been the Rangsakona MLA for three terms – 2003, 2013 and 2018 as a Congress candidate. Zenith Sangma joined the TMC in 2021. In the 2023 Assembly elections in the state, Zenith Sangma lost the Rangsakona seat by 788 votes.

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