Sangma’s daughter wins Tura Lok Sabha seat (Lead)

May 25th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by admin  

Tura (Meghalaya), May 25 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Agatha Kongkal Sangma won the Tura parliamentary by-election in Meghalaya Sunday by a record margin, crushing Zenith Sangma of the Congress. An election official said the NCP candidate, daughter of former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Sangma, won by a margin of 181,760 votes.

“I am very happy and thank the people for their overwhelming support. I am committed to keeping my poll promises of working towards the overall development of the region,” Agatha told IANS after her victory.

Elections were held Thursday with an estimated 65 percent of the total 400,000 eligible voters exercising their franchise.

The Tura seat fell vacant after nine-time MP Purno Agitok Sangma resigned as MP to contest the Meghalaya assembly election earlier this year. Agatha is the youngest daughter of the veteran parliamentarian.

With Agatha’s win, the entire family of Sangma, barring her mother, is in politics.

The senior Sangma launched his two sons - Conrad and James - into politics earlier this year. The two brothers contested the assembly elections as NCP candidates.

Both won. Conrad is now a cabinet minister in charge of finance, tourism, power and a few other departments. James is the parliamentary secretary for home.

The senior Sangma, after winning the Tura assembly seat, is now the chairman of the Meghalaya Planning Board although he is literally the de facto chief minister of the state.

The only person not interested in active politics is Sangma’s wife.

Tura, dominated by the Garo tribe to which he belongs, has been Sangma’s bastion. It has elected him to parliament nine times since 1977 and twice to the state assembly.

Agatha is a lawyer by profession and was practicing in New Delhi before she was initiated into politics. She is also a Masters in Environmental Management from School of Geography, Nottingham University, Britain.

Prior to the assembly elections in March, the senior Sangma decided to quit national politics.

Sangma left state politics 22 years ago but made a mark nationally by getting elected to the Lok Sabha as many as nine times from Tura.

He was earlier Meghalaya’s chief minister on two occasions before being toppled by a political veteran. He became nationally well known after being the Lok Sabha speaker.

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