Meghalaya Chief Minister and National People’s Party President Conrad K Sangma on Monday won the South Tura Assembly bye-election, Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor said. He defeated Congress candidate Charlotte W Momin by 8,421 votes, reported PTI.

Counting of votes for the South Tura and Ranikor Assembly constituencies began at 8 am on Monday. Sangma polled 13,656 votes while Congress’ Momin got only 5,235 votes.

The win enables the chief minister to retain the National People’s Party seat and continue to lead the government.

In the Ranikor seat, the United Democratic Party candidate P Marwein won by 2,896 votes against National People’s Party candidate Martin M Danggo. The Ranikor bye-election was necessitated by the resignation of Danggo, who had won the seat in March on a Congress ticket.

With this, the National People’s Party has levelled its tally at 20 with the Congress in the 60-member state Assembly. The United Democratic Party has increased its tally to eight. The National Peoples Party and United Democratic Party are members of the Bharatiya Janata Party-backed Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.

The elections to the two seats, which were held on Thursday, were a race between the ruling National People’s Party and the Opposition Congress to become the single largest party.

The South Tura bye-election was necessitated after Sangma’s sister and former Union minister Agatha K Sangma vacated the seat for him. On Friday, Sangma said he was confident of winning the seat. ““People here are excited that their chief minister will be from South Tura,” he had said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah took to Twitter to congratulate Conrad Sangma.