6 out of 9 candidates are crorepatis in Meghalaya

Correspondent Shillong, Apr 9 | Publish Date: 4/9/2019 1:01:25 PM IST

Six of the nine candidates in the fray in Meghalaya’s two Lok Sabha constituencies that go to polls on Thursday with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  confident of springing a surprise, are crorepatis.

Though  BJP is part of National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, the saffron party is fighting the elections on its own.

The ruling alliance has fielded former union minister and NPP leader Agatha Sangma and Jemino Mawthoh of United Democratic Party (UDP) as their common candidates from Tura and Shillong Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Both Mawthoh and Agatha Sangma, the sister of the Chief Minister and the youngest daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma, will contest on symbols of their respective party, the UDP and the NPP. They are supported by MDA partners - People’s Democratic Front, Hill State People’s Democratic Party, Nationalist Congress Party and Independent.

Votes will  be cast from 7 a.m to 4 p.m on April 11.  Of the total 19, 14, 795 voters  in Meghalaya, 32.34 percent are in the 20-29 age groups, while 52 percent are women. Among the electorate, 11, 97, 806 voters are in Shillong seat that has 36 assembly seats and 7, 16,989 voters will cast their votes for Tura which covers 24 assembly segments.

There are 4,986 voters with disabilities and the Election Commission has issued over 800 braille-enabled ballot papers for 797 visually impaired voters across the state.

CEO Fredrick Roy Kharkongor on Tuesday handed the first Braille Elector Photo Identity Card to Padmahree Bertha Dkhar, who is also the principal of Jyoti Sroat Inclusive School, the first visually impaired school in Meghalaya.

In Shillong parliamentary constituency, there are eight candidates in the electoral ring from Meghalaya’s capital include sitting Congress LS member and former union minister, Vincent H. Pala who is pitted against BJP’s Sanbor Shullai, UDP’s Jemino Mawthoh and three Independents – T.H.S.Bonney, Romeo Phira Ranee and Samuel Hashah.

All eyes will however be on the Tura parliamentary constituency where former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Congress candidate Mukul Manda Sangma is pitted against former Union Minister and NPP nominee Agatha Kongkal Sangma and Meghalaya BJP vice-president Rikman G. Momin.

CM Conrad Sangma voiced confidence that voters would cast their votes in favour of the ruling alliance candidates as people of the state have reposed faith in the government.

 “The people have reposed faith in us due to our developmental initiatives. We are confident they will ensure the victory of our nominees,” Conrad said.  

Congress president, Celestine Lyngdoh said: “People and public opinions are in favour of the Congress after experiencing the anti-poor, anti-minorities and pro-Hindutva policies of the BJP-led NDA government.” However, state BJP General Secretary Bashailang Khongwir said his party would spring a surprise in the Lok Sabha elections as the BJP-led NDA have ensured all round development in the past five years.

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