Congress to contest Meghalaya by-polls, BJP opts out

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Shillong, Aug 2 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday announced its candidates for the two Meghalaya assembly by-elections from South Tura and Ranikor to be held on August 23.

But the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is part of the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, has decided not to contest the by-elections and support the NPP candidate and Chief Minister Conrad Sangma from South Tura assembly seat.

However, the saffron party is yet to decide which of the coalition partners it should extend its support to for the Ranikor by-poll.

Three parties which are part of the coalition government — United Democratic Party, People’s Democratic Front and NPP — are fielding their candidates for the Ranikor by-poll.

The Congress is fielding former Garo Student’s Union leader Jackuish K. Sangma as party candidate for the Ranikor by-poll, while retired Principal of Tura Government Public School, Charlotte W. Momin will contest the South Tura by- election against Chief Minister Conrad.

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Jackuish will take on former Congress legislator and NPP candidate M.M. Danggo, People’s Democratic Front nominee P.N. Syiem and United Democratic Party’s Pius Marwein.

South Tura Assembly constituency is expected to have a three-cornered contest as former independent legislator John Leslee Sangma is expected to contest the by-poll.

The two seats fell vacant following the resignation of NPP legislator Agatha Sangma from South Tura Assembly seat to pave way for her brother and Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to contest the by-election in order to retain the Chief Ministership.

Former Public Works Department Minister and five-time Congress legislator from Ranikor constituency, Martin Danggo resigned as member of the State Assembly and joined the ruling NPP after the government announced the creation of Ranikor Civil Sub-Division.

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–IANS

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