It's Dikkanchi for Tura battle

Cong recommends Mukul's wife's name to AICC

By Andrew W. Lyngdoh in Shilong
  • Published 22.04.16
Dikkanchi D. Shira

Shillong, April 21: The election committee of Meghalaya PCC today "unanimously" decided to recommend sitting Congress legislator Dikkanchi D. Shira's name to the AICC as the party candidate for the Tura Lok Sabha bypoll.

The committee met this evening at the residence of PCC chief D.D. Lapang in the presence of chief minister Mukul Sangma and other senior leaders.

Shira, who is Mukul's wife, is a first-time legislator representing Mahendraganj constituency in South West Garo Hills. She won her first election in the 2013 Assembly polls.

"The committee decided to recommend Shira's name to the AICC for the approval of party president Sonia Gandhi," PCC working president Deborah C. Marak said after the meeting.

No other name featured in the list of probable candidates. Marak said: "It was a unanimous decision to recommend Shira's name only."?

Earlier, the name of sports and youth affairs minister Zenith M. Sangma, the younger brother of chief minister, was doing the rounds as a probable candidate for the byelection.

The bypoll will be held on May 16. A notification in this regard will be issued on April 22 with April 29 as the last date for filing of nominations. Counting of votes will take place on May 19. The poll has been necessitated following the death of Purno Agitok Sangma on March 4.

Speaking to reporters earlier at Yojana Bhavan here, Mukul hinted that the Congress would go all out against the National People's Party (NPP) in the Tura Lok Sabha bypoll.

Tura constituency had been the citadel of Sangma for decades. He represented Tura for nine terms since 1977.

Now the Tura parliamentary seat has 24 Assembly segments under its ambit and Congress legislators represent most of these.

The NPP will be meeting tomorrow in Tura where the candidate is likely to be finalised.

The party could field either of Purno's children, Conrad Kongkal Sangma or Agatha Kongkal Sangma.

Agatha had represented Tura parliamentary seat twice - in 2008 and 2009. She was a Union minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet from 2009 to 2012.

Conrad had earlier served as the finance minister and leader of the Opposition in Meghalaya.

On whether the sympathy wave would work in favour of the NPP considering the fact that Purno Sangma had represented Tura for decades, Mukul said: "If the people are driven by sympathy, it is the job of the party to undo it."?

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress had fielded William Daryl Ch. Momin against Sangma. Sangma, however, held on to his citadel by a margin of nearly 40,000 votes.