Local political parties in Meghalaya have started declaring candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in the state which are due early next year.
The ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) consists of five parties including the BJP and the United Democratic Party (UDP) which is the second largest party in the alliance. The alliance has announced its first list of candidates, who will fight from 32 constituencies in the upcoming Assembly elections.
UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh said there is a growing need for a strong-independent political alternative, which could stand up for the aspirations of the people of the state. Metbah Lyngdoh, who is the Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly will contest from the Mairang seat. Other candidates include current cabinet ministers Kyrmen Shylla (Khliehriat), Lahkmen Rymbui (Amlarem) and Brolding Nongsiej (Mawthadraishan).
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s party the National People’s Party or NPP is yet to declare candidates for the upcoming elections and the BJP, which is part of the ruling alliance has indicated that it will fight the elections on its own in the state.
Conrad Sangma has also indicated that his party will fight alone especially after relations between allies NPP and BJP in the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) have been severely strained for the past several months
The BJP had recently dared Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to contest from the South Tura Assembly constituency in Garo Hills while claiming that people have made up their minds to oust the NPP from power. Sources say, the BJP high command has directed the state unit of the party to finalise candidates for all 60 seats for the upcoming elections.
“Conrad Sangma has finalised 58 candidates out of 60 seats in the state Assembly,” NPP leaders have been quoted as saying.
The main opposition party in the state, the Trinamool Congress is also likely to take a call on candidates soon with party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee scheduled to visit the state for two days from December 12.
Mamata Banerjee will discuss her party’s strategy for the Assembly elections during her visit. Her party will be led by former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who switched from the Congress to the TMC making the TMC the main opposition party in the state. Last month, TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee visited the state on a two-day trip where he inaugurated the party’s office in the Te’teng Aja locality in the town of Tura and has indicated the party will fight in the state under Mukul Sangma’s leadership.
The Meghalaya Assembly has 60 seats and elections are due in February next year.
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