Shillong, Jan. 30: In keeping with her “family tradition”, Meghalaya urban affairs minister Ampareen Lyngdoh was the first to file her nomination papers for the February 23 Assembly polls today.
Besides Ampareen, who is contesting as a Congress nominee from the East Shillong constituency, 11 other candidates filed their nominations in various parts of the state on the first day today.
In all, seven candidates filed their nominations in East Khasi Hills, three in West Garo Hills and one each in Ri Bhoi and South West Khasi Hills.
Social welfare minister John A. Lyngdoh filed his nomination in Mawphlang constituency in East Khasi Hills, where he will be contesting as a United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate, while Congress legislator Sayeedullah Nongrum also filed his papers for Rajabala constituency in the West Garo Hills.
Former minister Pynshai Manik Syiem, along with his daughter and sitting Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council member Teilinia Thangkhiew, filed their nominations for the Mawphlang and Mylliem constituencies respectively in the East Khasi Hills. Both will be contesting as Independents.
After filing her papers, Ampareen said it had been a “family tradition” to be the first to file nominations. “Everyone in our family has this tradition to be one of the first to file their nominations,” she said.
Ampareen is the daughter of late Peter G. Marbaniang who had served as a Lok Sabha member besides being a state legislator. Her elder brother Robert G. Lyngdoh had earlier served as Meghalaya’s home minister.
“I am confident people would take the right decision while choosing their candidate,” Ampareen, who is pitted against deputy chief minister Bindo M. Lanong of the UDP, said.
State chief electoral officer Prashant Naik said 13 expenditure observers had arrived in the state while 22 general observers would arrive after the scrutiny and withdrawal processes were over.
“The expenditure observers would be holding meetings with political parties on various issues here tomorrow,” Naik said, adding that the candidates’ expenditures would be accounted from today.
The expenditure ceiling for each candidate is Rs 8 lakh.
Moreover, around 10 companies of central paramilitary forces, out of the requested 76, have arrived. The rest will be arriving in a phased manner.
Candidates can file their nominations till February 6, while scrutiny will take place on February 7. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 9. Polling will take place on February 23 and counting will be held on February 28.