| Mukul Sangma |
Shillong, Jan. 6: The entry of several fresh faces and the departure of some prominent sitting legislators mark the list of Congress candidates that has been finalised for the upcoming February-March Meghalaya Assembly polls.
A statement from AICC general secretary Oscar Fernandes said the central election committee had approved the list of candidates for all the 60 seats spread across the Khasi-Jaintia and Garo hills.
From Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma to PCC chief D.D. Lapang, the list features at least six women candidates, including Sangma’s wife Dikkanchi D. Shira.
The Congress, which currently has 28 legislators, has, however, abandoned seven of them, while naming five legislators from other political groups as candidates.
Those legislators whose names had not featured in the list included Umroi legislator S.W. Rymbai, Adbus Saleh, who was in the fight for a ticket for the Rajabala seat with another Congress MLA Sayeedullah Nongrum, Dalu legislator Samuel Sangma, Dalamgiri legislator and cabinet minister Saleng A. Sangma and Rymbai legislator Nehlang Lyngdoh.
The other legislators are Augustine D. Marak, who is likely to contest the polls from another party, and Friday Lyngdoh, who had expressed his desire not to participate in elections any longer.
On the other hand, there were five sitting legislators hailing from other groups like Independents, Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) who had been rewarded with Congress tickets.
These include Independent legislators Manas Chaudhuri from South Shillong, A.T. Mondal (Phulbari) and Limison D. Sangma (Raksamgre), HSPDP legislator Advisor Pariong from Nongstoin and NCP legislator Adolf Lu Hitler R. Marak from Bajengdoba.
The six women candidates include M. Ampareen Lyngdoh (East Shillong), former minister Roshan Warjri (North Shillong), PCC working president Deborah C. Marak (Williamnagar), Eureka Lyngdoh (Mairang), Dikkanchi D. Shira (Mahendraganj) and former IAS officer Arlene N. Sangma (Chokpot).
Prominent faces include Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope (Nongthymmai), deputy chief minister Rowell Lyngdoh (Mawkyrwat), home minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh (Sohiong), forest minister Prestone Tynsong (Pynursla), revenue minister R.C. Laloo (Jowai), public health engineering minister Shitlang Pale (Sutnga-Saipung) and water resources minister A.L. Hek (Pynthorumkhrah).
Sitting legislators Founder Strong Cajee (Mawlai), Ronnie V. Lyngdoh (Mylliem), P.W. Khongjee (Sohra), Lahkmen Rymbui (Amlarem), Comingone Ymbon (Raliang), Martin M. Danggo (Ranikor), Francis P.R. Sangma (Rongara Siju), Frankenstein W. Momin (Mendipathar), Sniawbhalang Dhar (Nartiang), Sayeedullah Nongrum (Rajabala) and P.N. Syiem (Mawsynram) have also been retained.
Business tycoon Ngaitlang Dhar has been chosen from Umroi while another magnate, Mohindro Rapsang, will contest from West Shillong.
Former chief minister Salseng C. Marak has been fielded from Resubelpara and Mukul Sangma’s brother and former MLA Zenith M. Sangma from Rangsakona.
The Congress has also fielded former legislators Tonsing N. Marak (Songsak), Clement Marak (Selsella), Billykid A. Sangma (South Tura), Boldness Lyngdoh Nongum (Mawthadraishan), Lambor Malngiang (Nongkrem) and P.W. Muktieh (Mawhati).
GHADC chief executive member Purno K. Sangma has been fielded from Dadenggre, while Charles Pyngrope’s son David Nongrum lost the ticket to Pynehborlang Mukhim from Mawryngkneng.
The other candidates are Qually Suiam (Mowkaiaw), Amos Dkhar (Khliehriat), Barnabas Nongbah (Jirang), Celestine Lyngdoh (Umsning), Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem (Mawphlang), Jrop Sing Nongkhlaw (Shella), Drola Sing Khongjoh (Mawkynrew), Kingford Kharsyntiew (Rambrai-Jyrngam), Methodius Dkhar (Mawshynrut), Cherak W. Momin (Kharkutta), Sengnam Marak (Rongjeng), Rahinath Barchung (Tikrikilla), Noverfield R. Marak (North Tura), Winnerson D. Sangma (Salmanpara), Besterfield N. Sangma (Gambegre), Kenethson R. Sangma (Dalu) and Lazarus M. Sangma (Baghmara).