Marak not to contest Lok Sabha by-poll

Shillong, April 28 (IANS) In a dramatic U-turn, Meghalaya’s independent legislator, Rophul S. Marak, on Thursday said he won’t contest the by-election to the Tura Lok Sabha seat on May 16.

On Tuesday night, Marak quit the post of Parliamentary Secretary to contest the by-poll which followed the demise of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on March 4.

Marak told IANS that he decided not to contest the by-election after many people, his family included, advised him not to. He spoke on telephone from Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills.

The independent legislator said he had decided to extend his support to Congress candidate Dikkanchi D. Shira, wife of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, in the by-poll.

“I have been asked to support Dikkanchi and to campaign extensively for her in my (Siju-Rongara assembly) constituency to ensure her victory,” he said.

Asked whether he will withdraw his resignation paper as Parliamentary Secretary, Marak said: “I have submitted my papers to the chief minister, but he is yet to accept it. Therefore, I am still the Parliamentary Secretary.”

Marak had said he quit as Parliamentary Secretary saying he was “fed up with the Congress government”.

On Wednesday, Congress candidate Shira and NPP nominee Conrad K. Sangma, youngest son of the late Purno. A. Sangma, filed their nomination papers.

–IANS

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