Cong, MPA to contest Rajya Sabha elections

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Shillong, Mar 14 (UNI) Former Meghalaya Chief Minister Salseng C Marak has emerged as the Congress candidate to contest the election for the lone Rajya Sabha from the state.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Progressive Alliance(MPA), led by Congress' arch rival Nationalist Congress Party(NCP), along with its alliance members the non-Congress parties of Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)(1), United Democratic Party(UDP)(11), Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP)(2) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM)(1) and two Independent MLAs have together nominated Thomas A Sangma as their contender for the post.

In the last election, Robert Kharshiing(NCP) wrested the Upper House seat from the Congress with support of regional parties, the BJP and Independent MLAs.

Once again, the NCP exuded confidence to retain the Rajya Sabha seat, since the MPA claimed to have 31 MLAs in the 60-member state Assembly.

The Congress(25), which emerged as the single largest party, formed the Meghalaya United Alliance(MUA), with support from three Independent legislators. It has fallen short of three seats to cross the majority threshold in the House.

Earlier, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee forwarded the name of Mr Marak, apart from two other senior women Congress workers Wansuk Syiem and Selma Shira to the AICC for its approval.

The Election Commission of India(ECI) had announced to conduct elections to the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Meghalaya on March 26. In a notification, the Commission fixed the last date of filing nominations on March 15, date of scrutiny on March 17, and the last date of withdrawal of candidature on March 19.

Counting of votes would begin immediately after closing of polls and the election procedure should be completed by March 29, an ECI notification said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly have been appointed as Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer respectively for the election.

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