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Friendly contest, squabble and a little caution All in the family

Shillong, Jan. 21: This election, Meghalaya will witness a father-daughter and a father-son duet. The state is scheduled to go to the polls on February 23.

Former legislator Pynshai Manik Syiem, 54 and his daughter Telinia Thangkhiew, 30, will contest as Independents from Mawphlang and Mylliem constituencies respectively, while Speaker Charles Pyngrope and his son David H. Nongrum, 34, will contest from Nongthymmai and Mawryngkneng as a Congress nominee and an Independent respectively. David was denied a Congress ticket.

Making the declaration today, Syiem, a three-time legislator from Mylliem until he lost in 2008 to Congress nominee Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, and Thangkhiew, a sitting member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, expressed concern over the use of “money power” during elections.

“I lost the 2008 elections primarily because of money power,” Syiem, who had contested on an NCP ticket, said at his residence. But a year later, Thangkhiew defeated Lyngdoh by a margin of over 1,000 votes in the district council elections.

On what the father has learnt from the daughter and vice versa, Syiem said, “Earlier, people of Mylliem constituency used to address me as Bah Pynshai. But now I am better known as Telinia’s father.” He also said his daughter was following in his footsteps with the will to serve the people even better.

Thangkhiew said she has learnt to be dedicated and hard-working from her father and that she will strive to do even better. “If elected, my priorities include women’s issues, especially with regard to their safety, and empowering the farmers through modernisation of agriculture,” Thangkhiew said, adding that in Mylliem, a majority of the inhabitants rely on farming for their living.

Syiem said although he no longer wanted to contest the elections, a dearth of legislators prompted him to throw his hat into the electoral battlefield.


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