Congress Polls: Munshi to release Congress manifesto in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Feb 6 (UNI) Union Minister in-charge Parliamentary Affairs Priya Ranjan Das Munshi will arrive here on February eight to release the Congress manifesto.

The party had fielded candidates in all the 60 constituencies of the state with Meghalaya Chief Minister D D Lapang seeking re-election from Nongpoh and Speaker Martin M Danggo from Langrin constituencies.

Party tickets had been allotted to three women candidates, including state Health and Family Welfare Minister Deborah C Marak, sitting MLA Irin Lyngdoh and newcomer Sophibensinda Marak, contesting from Chokpot constituency.

Former Chief Minister J D Rymbai, who quit the Congress, will contest the Assembly election on the United Democratic Party ticket from Jirang constituency, former Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council Edmund S Lyngdoh, who also quit the Congress, would contest from Nongbah Wahiajer constituency on Meghalaya Democratic Party.

Incumbent Education Minister Robert G Lyngdoh had opted out this time.

Consequently, the ticket had gone to Nicky F Lyngdoh.

Mr Nicky's main opponent would be Ampareen Lyngdoh, sister of the Education Minister. Sacked Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council Chief H S Shylla, who was denied a party ticket in preference to Union Minister P R Kyndiah's scion W K Kyndiah for Nongkrem constituency, decided to contest as Independent candidate against the official candidate.

Sitting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA from Tikrikilla constituency Monindra Rava and Nartiang constituency MLA Draision Kharshiing of Meghalaya Democratic Party were also allotted Congress tickets.

A single-phase election of the 60-seat Assembly will be held on March three. The counting will be held on March seven, The filing of nomination papers will begin on February eight and close on February 15.

The last date for withdrawal of nomination is February 18.

During his whirlwind visit to Shillong, the Union Minister would meet all the Congress candidates and other senior Congress leaders to discuss poll strategies in Meghalaya, especially in Nationalist Congress Party's heartland in Garo Hills.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who returning to state politics after spending three decades in national politics had decided to contest the Assembly polls from Tura constituency in West Garo Hills district.

The NCP has projected Mr Sangma as its Chief Ministerial candidate.

Not like in other states, the NCP and Congress had decided not to have any pre-poll alliance in Meghalaya.

Mr Munsi will be accompanied by AICC secretary in-charge Meghalaya Maj (Retd) Ved Prakash.

After the Union Minister's visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lead the campaign trails in the three Northeastern states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura ahead of the Assembly elections.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Meghalaya and Nagaland Margaret Alva had said Congress president Sonia Gandhi and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi were also scheduled to hit the campaign trail for two days in the three poll-bound NE states.

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