NCP nominates P A Sangma's daughter as Tura LS candidate

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Shillong, Apr 22 (UNI) The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has nominated former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma's daughter Agatha K Sangma as its candidate for the byelection to the Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya.

The byelection, scheduled for May 22, was necessitated when Mr Sangma quit the Lok Sabha after being elected as MLA in the 60-member Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on March 8.

The nine-time MP said his decision to return to state politics was to ensure all round development in the state.

Mr Sangma, who declared the name of Ms Sangma as the NCP nominee, claimed that the ''people of Garo Hills did not have any other choice, as Agatha K Sangma the only available right choice.'' Ms Sangma, a practising lawyer at the Delhi High Court, also has a Masters degree in Environmental Management from Nottingham University, UK.

However, the former Lok Sabha Speaker denied that he was encouraging dynasty politics.

''No, not at all. I am not grooming any of my children as my successor. I am only giving them equal opportunity and it is upto them to succeed. If you call it dynasty, then this is a different kind of dynasty,'' Mr Sangma said.

Mr Sangma, now the Chairman of Meghalaya Planning Board, revealed that his family did not want to push his youngest daughter into politics as she had a different role to play in the family as per the matrilineal tradition.

''Her mother did not agree to her daughter's decision to join politics as she had bigger responsibility in the family,'' Mr Sangma disclosed.

However, the 28-year-old Ms Sangma, who prefers to follow in the political footsteps of her father, said it was the ''desire of the people'' which prompted her to contest the byelection.

''It is the voice of the people and now I have to raise their voice in the corridors of Parliament,'' Ms Sangma said.

Mr Sangma's sons - Mr Conrad and Mr James - had also contested and won the recent Assembly election. Mr Conrad is Finance and Power Minister in the state government. Mr James is a Parliamentary Secretary, a post equivalent to Minister of State.

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