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Maiden entry dreams

Teilinia S. Thangkhiew

Shillong, Feb. 20: She is one of the 25 women candidates among the 345 nominees in the fray for the February 23 battle for Meghalaya.

At 30, Teilinia S. Thangkhiew, Independent candidate from Mylliem constituency under East Khasi Hills district, is one of the youngest to seek the people's mandate. She hopes to make a maiden entry into the Meghalaya Assembly.

But to realise her dreams, she will have to outshine male candidates, which include sitting Congress legislator Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, former Khasi Students' Union (KSU) general secretary Hamletson Dohling of the UDP, besides Bombersing Hynniewta of the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP), and Robert F. Kharbuki (Independent).

The 11,483 male and 13,841 female voters of Mylliem will decide Teilinia's fate on Saturday. Her father, Pynshai Manik Syiem, had represented the constituency for three consecutive terms - 1993, 1998, and 2003 - until he was defeated in the 2008 polls.

This time round, Syiem is contesting as an Independent from the nearby Mawphlang constituency, which falls in the same district.

In 2009, Teilinia had dramatically overwhelmed Lyngdoh from Mylliem in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) polls. She had pipped him at the post by a margin of over 1,000 votes.

A graduate from Christ College in Bangalore, the young candidate had also served as an executive member of the KHADC executive committee.