Purno Sangma’s son Conrad to contest Tura bypoll

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Shillong, April 22 (IANS) Conrad Sangma, the younger son of former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Sangma, will contest the bypoll to Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya, necessitated by the death of his father and sitting MP last month, it was announced on Friday.

He will face Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s wife Dikkanchi D. Shira of the Congress.

Conrad’s mother, Soradini Kongkal Sangma, announced the decision on Friday at the family residence at Walbakgre in Tura after a meeting of the leaders of P.A. Sangma’s party, National People’s Party (NPP), concluded.

IANS was the first to report that Conrad Sangma would contest the Tura bypoll.

Before Purno Sangma, who won the seat in the 2014 general elections, Tura was represented by his daughter Agatha Sangma, who was a union minister in the UPA-II government.

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“It has been a tradition that my father kicked off his campaign from Adokgre village. So, I will keep the tradition alive,” Conrad said in Tura on Friday.

He said that his elder brother, James, a sitting Meghalaya legislator, and his sister Agatha, and his mother would accompany him during his campaigning.

Describing his opponent as “a respectable person”, he said: “It will not be an easy fight but the NPP is ready.”

“My father had enjoyed the support, love and affection of the people of the Garo hills as he represented them for 10 consecutive times. I will definitely work to fulfil his dreams. However, we are not going to ignore other factors.”

Bypolls to the Tura parliamentary constituency and nine assembly constituencies in seven states on May 16 was announced by the Election Commission on April 19. Subsequently two assembly bypolls were deferred.

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