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Meghalaya MPs in Congress panel

Shillong, Feb. 12: Meghalaya parliamentarians Vincent H. Pala (Lok Sabha) and Wansuk Syiem (Rajya Sabha) are among the members of Congress president Sonia Gandhi-led election campaign committee for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

The inclusion of Pala — who is vying for a party ticket from the Shillong parliamentary seat along with three others — in the 50-member committee has come at a time when reports are doing the rounds that the incumbent MP would be eventually denied the ticket.

Apart from Pala, those who have applied for the party ticket include former Speaker Charles Pyngrope, leader of traditional institutions John F. Kharshiing and party legislator representing Mylliem constituency Ronnie V. Lyngdoh.

The AICC vice-president has been made the co-chairman of the election campaign committee while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union ministers A.K. Antony, Sushil Kumar Shinde, P. Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kamal Nath, Oscar Fernandes, Jairam Ramesh and Anand Sharma are among those who have been made members.

The AICC had also put on hold the meeting, slated for tomorrow, to choose candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, sources said.

Sources added that the central election committee of the AICC was supposed to meet tomorrow in New Delhi, but the meeting had been postponed till Monday.

They said on Monday, the Congress would first decide on candidates from constituencies, which are, hitherto, not being represented by party MPs.

So the committee will first take stock of Tura parliamentary seat while for the Shillong parliamentary seat, a decision could be taken at the end of the current session of Parliament which is ending on February 21.

For the Tura seat, the eight aspirants include Meghalaya sports and youth affairs minister Zenith M. Sangma, who is also the younger brother of chief minister Mukul Sangma, Salmanpara legislator Winnerson D. Sangma and Daryl William Cheran Momin, grandson of late Capt. Williamson A. Sangma, Meghalaya’s first chief minister.

The others include former legislator Adolf Lu Hitler R. Marak, Meghalaya Pradesh Youth Congress general secretary Richard M. Marak, former bureaucrats Arlene M. Sangma and D.K. Areng and Meghalaya PCC general secretary Polycarp Marak.