2018 Meghalaya Legislative Assembly election
All 60 seats in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
31 seats needed for a majority
The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly election was held on 27 February 2018 to elect 59 of 60 members to the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, with the results to be declared on 3 March. The scheduled election in Williamnagar constituency was delayed to an undetermined date following the death of Nationalist Congress Party candidate Jonathone Sangma in an IED blast in East Garo Hills district on February 18, 2018. The incumbent Indian National Congress government, led by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma attempted to win a re-election for the third time in a row.
The state of Meghalaya lies in the North-eastern region of India, predominantly populated by tribal groups. At the time of accession to the Independent India, these tribes were assured autonomy to make laws in and enforce local customs, management of land and forests. The sixth schedule of the Constitution of India provides for the establishment of autonomous District Councils to oversee these issues. As such, the powers of the state government are limited when compared with other states of India.
The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly is the legislative organ of the state. The legislature has 60 seats chosen through first-past-the-post method. The party or coalition with more than 30 seats can form the executive.
The tenure of outgoing Legislative Assembly, elected in March 2013, was set to end on 6 March 2018. A total of 370 candidates contested the polls across the 60 constituencies. Out of these, only 32 were female candidates, despite the state's distinction of being a matrilineal society.
The election commission set up 3,082 polling booths in the state, out of which 60 booths will be pink booths - one in each constituency run completely by women. There were 172 polling stations in areas adjoining the 884-km-long Assam-Meghalaya border, with polling officials having to pass through Assam to reach several booths. The home department identified 633 polling stations as vulnerable, 315 as critical and 75 as both vulnerable and critical.
Counting will take place in 13 stations to be setup across the state.
The Election Commission scheduled the election for 27 February 2018 with the results to be announced on 3 March 2018.
|Date for nominations||31 Jan 2018||Wednesday|
|Last date for filing nominations||7 Feb 2018||Wednesday|
|Date for scrutiny of nominations||8 Feb 2018||Thursday|
|Last date for withdrawal of candidatures||12 Feb 2018||Monday|
|Date of poll||27 Feb 2018||Tuesday|
|Date of counting||3 Mar 2018||Saturday|
|Date before which the election shall be completed||5 Mar 2018||Monday|
297 candidates registered to contest the election.
|Indian National Congress (INC)||UPA||59|
|Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)||NDA||47|
|National People's Party||NDA||52|
|United Democratic Party (UDP)||NDA||27|
|Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP)||NDA||15|
|Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)||8|
|Garo National Council (GNC)||7|
|Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)||6|
|Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM)||7|
|People's Democratic Front (PDF)||NDA||7|
|Independents (IND) and other candidates||70|
Coal mining in Jaintia Hills
The Jaintia Hills in the eastern part of the state have rich deposits of coal. The National Green Tribunal banned rat-hole mining of coal in the state in 2014. Tribal groups across Meghalaya maintain that according to the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution, they alone have the right to the coal under the hills. But the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, which vests ownership and control of the mineral with the Indian state, expressly lists Meghalaya’s coal mines as being under its purview. Besides, the Sixth Schedule also confers the right over underground minerals to the Indian state. It explicitly mentions the need for “licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for, or extraction of, minerals”. According to the Constitution, there is only one way a Sixth Schedule state can be exempted from the coal nationalisation law – by a presidential notification to that effect. Official records suggest that while the state government did express apprehension in the wake of the nationalisation of coal, it never applied for an exemption.
The state, in general turned a blind eye to the small-scale mining of coal, which had a huge impact on the ecology of the region, leading to the ban. However, numerous miners and workers were affected by the sudden decision and blame the incumbent Congress government for the failure. The Bharatiya Janata Party has promised to resolve the issue in eight months of coming to power, while the Congress government has assigned the mines to Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation to operate the mines on behalf of the miners.
|Polling firm||Date published|
|JanKiBaat-NewsX||January 27, 2018||23-27||13-17||8-12||2-6|
|CVoter||January 27, 2018||17-23||13-19||4-8||13-21|
The elections resulted in a hung assembly with no single party or alliance getting the requisite majority of 31 seats in the Vidhan Sabha. Conrad Sangma, leader of the NPP, announced that he would form a government with the support of the UDP, BJP and other regional parties. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister, along with eleven other ministers.
|Indian National Congress (INC)||447,472||28.5%||59||21||8|
|National People's Party (NPP)||323,500||20.6%||52||19||17|
|United Democratic Party (UDP)||182,491||11.6%||27||6||2|
|Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)||151,217||9.6%||47||2||2|
|People's Democratic Front (PDF)||128,413||8.2%||8||4||4|
|Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP)||84,011||5.3%||15||2||1|
|Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)||25,247||1.6%||6||1||1|
|Garo National Council (GNC)||21,679||1.4%||7||0||1|
|Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM)||14,164||0.9%||6||1||1|
|All India Trinamool Congress (AITC)||5,544||0.4%||0|
|None of the Above (NOTA)||14,631||0.9%|
The following is the list of the members elected in the Meghalaya assembly:
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- "Can the BJP Achieve a Congress-mukt Meghalaya?". Economic and Political Weekly. 53 (6). 2015-06-05.
- "Terms of the Houses". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- "Total number of candidates reduced to 370". The Shillong Times. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "Meghalaya will have 60 all-women polling booths for assembly election - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
- "CEC OP Rawat to visit Meghalaya ahead of elections to review poll-preparedness in state - Firstpost". www.firstpost.com. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "Meghalaya assembly election: 372 candidates in fray - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "Legislative Assembly Elections 2018: Election Commission Announces Poll Dates For Meghalaya, Tripura And Nagaland". Republic TV. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Saikia, Arunabh. "'Phaltu sarkar': In Meghalaya, the ban on coal mining could cost the Congress heavily". Scroll.in. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "CM wants MMDC to carry out coal mining in state". The Shillong Times. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- "Exit polls predict BJP may win Tripura, consolidate position in Meghalaya and Nagaland". Times of India. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- "Meghalaya Election Results 2018 LIVE UPDATES: Congress to hold meeting to select legislature party leader". 3 March 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- "Meghalaya election result 2018: NPP to form government with help of others, says Conrad Sangma". 3 March 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Singh, Shiv Sahay (4 March 2018). "Non-Congress parties come together to stake claim in Meghalaya". Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via www.thehindu.com.
- Singh, Shiv Sahay (6 March 2018). "Conrad Sangma sworn in as Meghalaya CM". Retrieved 7 June 2018 – via www.thehindu.com.
- "Meghalaya Election 2018". Elections.in. Retrieved 7 June 2018.