Meghalaya Chief Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) president, Conrad K Sangma blamed the ‘anti-incumbency factor’ as the core reason for the party’s lackluster performance in the just concluded Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) polls, results of which were declared on Thursday.
The ruling NPP has managed to win only 11 seats despite tall claims of getting a full majority.
Welcoming the mandate of the people, Sangma however said the party is determined to work harder to ensure the organization is further strengthened in the Garo Hills region as well as throughout the state.
The Chief Minister also said the anti-incumbency against the NPP-led executive committee was very strong because it could not clear over 30 months of salary to the GHADC employees.
“The causes have been for multiple reasons but the point is that the entire blame has come on the NPP in one way and that can be reflected in the fact that almost all the sitting MDCs – whether from NPP, from Congress or other parties – have lost this time. So people have really voted against the past GHADC members,” he said.
Admitting that it was a setback since BJP’s Bernard N Marak won from South Tura, which is his home constituency, Sangma said that Tura has been a tough fight.
“We got 8,300 votes and the BJP got 8,800 votes and they managed to win this particular seat which is very important for me also,” he said.
The CM again blamed this on the anti-incumbency wave by stating that the majority of the GHADC employees are from Tura.
“Tura is of course a very interesting constituency because most of the employees who work in the district council are from Tura, therefore a large chunk of them I presume have voted against the government in terms of the EC that was earlier formed by the NPP for not being able to pay salary for 30 months,” he said.
“Having said this, we need to see whether there are any more reasons for it and it is important for us to learn from this experience and realize that we could do far better than what we are doing now. It is good, overall results was a good experience for us and the party is now gear up to ensure we work harder than what we were in the past including myself I also need to give more of my time to the organization,” he said
Stating that another factor was the younger voters, Sangma said even as he admitted that there are some polling stations where the BJP has done far better than what was expected.
Commending the performance of the opposition Congress, which has emerged as the single largest party by winning 12 seats, the Chief Minister said, “That is the nature of democracy and politics and now it is NPP’s turn to ensure that we strengthen our organization and work harder for the coming elections in the near future.”