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Congress leading in Meghalaya

Shillong, Feb 28 (IANS) 11:17 IST
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The ruling Congress party has opened its account in the ninth Meghalaya assembly with former deputy chief minister Deborah Ch Marak winning from Williamnagar constituency.

"Deborah defeated her nearest rival Marcuise N. Marak of the National People's Party by 2,877 votes," Vijay Mantri, returning officer of East Garo Hills district, told IANS on phone Thursday.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma is set to return for the fifth consecutive time from the Ampati constituency. He is leading by a big margin of 4,000 votes.

Before the vote counts, Sangma had said: "We are close to half-way mark and we are hoping to get more."

Election Commission officials said Congress candidates were leading in 23 seats of the 60-member House assembly.

The United Democratic Party in eight seats, Hill State People's Democratic Party - two, Nationalist Congress Party - two, National People's Party - one, North East Socialist Democratic Party - one and Independent - nine.

Former Congress chief minister and state Congress party chief D.D. Lapang is leading in Nongpoh constituency.

The Congress fielded candidates in all 60 constituencies while the United Democratic Party (UDP) contested 50 seats.

In the 2008 assembly elections, the Congress emerged as the single party with 25 seats running short of six seats to get a clear majority.

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