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Meghalaya Polls: All About Conrad Sangma & High-stake Battle Between Political Families

For years, it has been Sangma versus Sangma -- the two dominating families in Meghalaya politics.

Meghalaya polls 2023

Image: PTI/Representative

As the Meghalaya assembly election nears, political parties are leaving no stone unturned to win the polls. The current Chief Minister of the state is fighting in the battle to return to power for the second consecutive term. Conrad Kongkal Sangma is the 12th Chief minister of Meghalaya and national president of the National People's Party (NPP).

Who is Conrad Sangma?

Conrad K Sangma has a Bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurial Management from Wharton and an MBA in Finance from the University of London. After finishing his studies and before entering politics, he used to work as a campaign manager for his father PA Sangma.

He then went on to join NPP's presidency in 2006 at the time when his father P. A. Sangma was serving as the then Meghalaya CM. For the first time in 2008, he was elected to the Assembly from the Selsella constituency and was given the portfolios of Finance as well as Power and Tourism. Within 10 days of taking over the state's Finance Ministry, he presented the first annual Budget of the state.

After his father PA Sangma passed away in 2016, he was chosen as the NPP's national president. Breaking records, he won the Lok Sabha seat from Tura by a margin of 1.92 lakh votes in the same year. 

In the 2018 assembly elections, Congress emerged as the largest single party with the highest number of seats. But with 21 seats the party fell short to cross the halfway mark in the 60-member seat. Conrad Sangma's party with 19 seats formed an alliance with the regional parties-- 6 seats from UDP, 4 from PDF, 2 from Hill State people's democratic party, 2 from BJP, and 1 independent. With a total of 34 seats, Sangma was named the Meghalaya Chief Minister.

All about the domination of Sangmas

For years, it has been Sangma versus Sangma -- the two dominating families in Meghalaya politics. On one hand, there is Conrad K Sangma and his late father PA Sangma, while the other Sangma is Dr Mukul Sangma. He served as the Chief Minister of the state from 2010 to 2018 as a member of the Congress party. In 2021, Mukul Sangma switched to the Trinamool Congres and at present serves as the Leader of the Opposition in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Meghalaya will go for polling in a single phase on February 27 and the results will be announced on March 2. The Meghalaya Assembly election will be fought on 60 constituencies in 12 districts. Around 55 of the 60 seats are reserved for ST, while 5 seats are for general. According to the ECI, there are more female voters in Meghalaya than males. The total number of female voters in Meghalaya is 10,92,396 as compared to 10,68.801 male voters in the state. First-time voters in the state are 81,443.

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