SHILLONG: With the Lok Sabha polls drawing closer, political powerhouses in Meghalaya are busy charting out names of candidates for the Shillong and Tura constituencies.
The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) and the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) are actively strategizing their moves for these important seats while keeping their cards close to their chest.
Charles Pyngrope, the AITC state president, believes that former MLA George Lyngdoh could be the ideal contender for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, he said that the decision regarding the Tura seat has been entrusted to AITC legislature party leader Mukul Sangma. However, both decisions are still pending and await consultation with the party’s high command.
“We are yet to discuss with the high command general secretary in-charge Manas Bhuyan on the candidates. A meeting will be held soon to finalize the modalities of how we go about it,” stated Pyngrope.
The NPP, on the other hand, is also grappling with the selection of candidates. While the sitting MP Agatha Sangma is set to seek re-election from the Tura constituency, the NPP is yet to finalise its choice for the Shillong seat.
Speculations, however, are rife that former AITC member HM Shangpliang, who is set to be joining the ruling party after switching to the BJP, might apply for a ticket to contest from the Shillong seat.
On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister and NPP leader, Sniawbhalang Dhar, clarified that no assurances have been given to Shangpliang regarding the ticket as there are several contenders vying for it within the party.
Dhar emphasised that the NPP will thoroughly deliberate upon Shangpliang’s entry into the party and his desire to contest from the Shillong seat. The Deputy Chief Minister also affirmed that sitting Lok Sabha member Agatha Sangma remains the party’s natural choice for the Tura parliamentary seat.
Addressing rumors, Dhar dismissed speculations about Congress state president Vincent H Pala’s interest in contesting the upcoming polls on an NPP ticket.
Pyngrope, when questioned about Shangpliang joining the NPP, asserted that the leader has the liberty to join any party and contest in the elections.