Congress, UDP to contest Umroi by-poll in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Nov 18 (UNI) Battlelines have been drawn between the UDP and the Congress for the byelection to the Umroi Assembly seat with the Congress today fielding its former legislator Stanlywiss Rymbai.

The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of former Chief Minister and sitting United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator E K Mawlong on October 18.

The UDP, which is leading the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government, has fielded Mr Mawlong's son George B Lyngdoh.

The Nationalist Congress Party, which is backing the coalition government, decided not to throw their hat in the electoral battle.

However, the other coalition partners, the Hill State People's Democratic Party, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement and Bharatiya Janata Party are yet to make their clear whether to support the UDP candidate.

The Umroi byelection is crucial for both the ruling MPA government and the opposition Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance.

'' The Umroi byelection is crucial for both the ruling and the opposition. We will try hard to get back the seat,'' Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee Working President Deborah C Marak told UNI here.

Mr Rymbai had defeated Mawlong in 2003 Assembly elections, He, however, failed to returned to the state Assembly for the second time after he lost to Mr Mawlong.

Presently in the 60-member House, currently 59 following Mr Mawlong's demise, the MPA has strength of 32 with NCP (15) UDP (10) HSPDP (2), KHNAM and BJP one each and three Independents legislators, while the Congress has 27 members, including two Independent legislators.


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