Shillong, March 28 (IANS) Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Justice Kharbasanti and Kennedy Khyriem, a substitute candidate for outgoing Congress MP Vincent Pala. on Thursday withdrew their nominations from the Shillong parliamentary seat, an election official said.
Former Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer T.H.S. Bonney, who filed his nomination papers as Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) candidate, will now contest as an Independent following a complaint against his candidature from the party.
Following the withdrawals, the number of candidates in the fray from Shillong parliamentary constituency now stands at six with Pala facing Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sanbor Shullai, United Democratic Party’s (UDP) Jemino Mawthoh, and two Independents – Sam uel Hashah and Romeo Phira Ranee.
Tura parliamentary seat is set for a triangular contest with former Union Minister Agatha Sangma, of the ruling National Peoples Party, facing a tough electoral battle against former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma of the Congress and Rikman Momin of the BJP.
On Tuesday, the Election Commission withheld nomination papers of two candidates – Bonney and Kharbasanti — from the Shillong seat following complaints against them.
Bonney’s nomination was withheld after KHNAM President Pyndapborthiaw Saibon, who was re-instated as the party chief through a Meghalaya High Court order on March 20, said that the party did not field any candidate, while Kharbasanti’s nomination was withheld after a bank complained against him over some pending dues and he withdrew from the fray.
“Taking into consideration all objections raised by Saibon based on the court order, as well as materials and submissions made by Bonney, it was found that Bonney is eligible as an Independent candidate, but not as candidate of a political party,” Returning Officer, Abhishek Bhagotia said.
Bonney was allowed to contest as Independent under the “key” election symbol, he added.