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PCC poll meet soon

Shillong, Jan. 30: Rumblings have started in the state Congress after the name of two-time Congress legislator Ronnie V. Lyngdoh was projected as a candidate for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from Shillong parliamentary constituency.

The Meghalaya PCC has convened a meeting of its election committee to thrash out a solution.

“The PCC’s election committee is scheduled to meet on February 3, possibly to endorse and recommend Lyngdoh’s name to the Congress high command as the ‘best choice (candidate)’ from among the aspirants who are seeking party ticket. Sitting MP Vincent H. Pala is among the aspirants,” sources in the PCC told this correspondent today.

Controversy, however, dogs chief minister Mukul Sangma and PCC chief D.D Lapang over the sudden projection of Lyngdoh’s name as the “most acceptable” Congress candidate to contest from Shillong constituency though the legislator has never applied for a Congress ticket.

Yesterday, Lyngdoh openly claimed that the Congress had decided to field him as the candidate from Shillong. Posturing as a “loyal party man”, Lyngdoh said he has to carry out the party’s order.

Initially, only three aspirants, including sitting MP Pala, former Speaker Charles Pyngrope and leader of traditional chiefs John Filmore Kharshiing were in the fray.

Prior to projecting Lyngdoh’s name, Pala reportedly had more edge in the race for ticket though talks circled mainly on Pala and John.

Many in the Congress consider the move to project Lyngdoh as a Lok Sabha nominee from Shillong a ploy by Congress leaders who teamed up against the candidature of Pala, an incumbent Lok Sabha member of the party who got elected from Shillong constituency for the first time in 2009.

Some Congress leaders even termed the move “unfortunate” and a “game plan” as elections to the two autonomous district councils and Lok Sabha are near.

Elections to Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and Jaiñtia Hills Autonomous District Council having 29 members each will be held on February 24 while the Lok Sabha polls are slated for April-May.

“ Are they doing this with the knowledge of the high command especially after soliciting views from the legislators and leaders on the three aspirants who had applied for tickets for the Shillong seat and eight aspirants for the Tura seat?” an annoyed Congress leader asked.

Last week, AICC secretary in-charge of Meghalaya, Vijay Laxmi Sadho, was camping in Shillong to get opinions from legislators and leaders.