Sangma, a former Nationalist Congress Party member, who joined the Congress party before the by-election was announced, secured 8,042 votes while Phillipole garnered 5,492 votes.

The by-election was necessitated following the death of Garo National Council legislator Clifford R. Marak early this year. Marak's wife Kalpana D. Sangma secured 5,009 votes. While independent candidate Tinkerwin R Marak received 1,189 votes, 424 voters opted for the None of the Above category in the by-election.

The Chokpot by-poll, held on Saturday, recorded an 83.11 percent turnout of the 24,244 electorate. "The Congress winning the by-election in Chokpot constituency which is a stronghold of the regional political party shows that people of Meghalaya have strong faith in the Congress party and accepted the performance of the Congress government in the state," Congress general secretary in-charge Meghalaya, V Narayansammy, told reporters.

In the 60-member legislature, the Congress now has 30 seats - one short of a majority. The Nationalist Congress Party, which has two members, one member from the North-east Democratic Socialist Party and 11 independent legislators are supporting the Congress. The Opposition Meghalaya People`s Front is made up of eight United Democratic Party legislators, two from the National People`s Party and two independents.

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