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Cong banks on AICC for candidatures

Shillong, Feb. 6: The state election committee of the Meghalaya PCC has left it to the AICC to choose party candidates for the Shillong and Tura parliamentary seats from among 12 aspirants.

The committee, which met at the residence of PCC president D.D. Lapang this evening, decided to forward the names of all applicants — four from Shillong and eight from Tura — to the AICC.

The four names from Shillong include that of incumbent MP Vincent H. Pala, former Speaker Charles Pyngrope, leader of traditional institutions John F. Kharshiing and party legislator representing Mylliem constituency Ronnie V. Lyngdoh.

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

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.

“All the committee members fully participated in a very frank manner and decided to forward all the four applications for the Shillong seat and eight for the Tura seat to the AICC,” PCC secretary Szarita Laitphlang said in a statement.

She also stated that Lapang, along with chief minister Mukul Sangma, have been entrusted to convey the opinion of the committee to the AICC.

On Monday, the committee had given time until this evening to ticket aspirants for the Shillong seat to submit their applications.

Earlier today, senior Congress leader and state forest minister Prestone Tynsong said “winnability” was the main criteria for selecting the candidate for the Shillong parliamentary seat.

“The best from among the best applicants should be selected as the Congress candidate to ensure victory and retain the Shillong seat in the forthcoming elections,” Tynsong said.

To a question on whether inviting more applicants in the race for the Congress ticket was a move to deny the ticket to Pala, he said: “Personally, I am not in favour of anyone; I am for a person who has a good winning chance.”

“We wanted to retain the Shillong seat and it was a right move to invite more applicants apart from the three contenders who had applied earlier,” he said.