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Second term for Wansuk

Shillong, Jan. 27: Incumbent Rajya Sabha MP Wansuk Syiem is set to secure a second straight term as the Opposition has decided not to field any candidate for the February 7 elections.

Syiem filed her papers this afternoon before Meghalaya Assembly secretary H. Mylliemngap in the presence of Meghalaya PCC president D.D. Lapang, PCC working president Deborah C. Marak, AICC secretary Vijay Laxmi Sadho and others.

The submission of nominations ends tomorrow while the scrutiny of papers will take place on Wednesday.

The last date for withdrawal of candidature is on Friday.

Syiem, who was elected unopposed last year, would repeat the feat this year as the Opposition has decided against nominating any candidate.

“We have decided not to field any candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls. Since the candidate who has filed the nomination is a woman, we have decided not to set up any candidate against her as we believe in women’s empowerment,” UDP leader Allantry F. Dkhar said over phone after a late night meeting here.

The treasury benches, led by the Congress, have 43 legislators in the 60-member House.

The Congress alone has 29 legislators.

The Opposition comprises 17 legislators.

Of these, eight are from the UDP, two from NPP, four from the HSPDP, two Independent legislators, and one from the Garo National Council (GNC).

The UDP, NPP, GNC and two Independent legislators are working under the banner of the Meghalaya People’s Front (MPF).

HSPDP legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit also said that his party would not set up any candidate for the elections.

“I have been there (Rajya Sabha) for 10 months, and it has been a learning experience. Now, I am more familiar with parliamentary procedures and I had also tried my best to contribute to the state,” Syiem told reporters after filing her papers.

The veteran Congress leader was elected unopposed last year after a vacancy arose following the resignation of Thomas A. Sangma.

She was the first woman to be elected to the House of elders from Meghalaya.