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Congress, UDP to contest Umroi by-poll in Meghalaya
Correspondent SHILLONG, NOV 18:
Published on 19 Nov. 2008 1:47 AM IST
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Battle lines for the by-election to the Umroi Assembly constituency has been drawn with the Congress Tuesday fielding its former legislator Stanlywiss Rymbai. The by-poll was necessitated following the demise of former Chief Minister and sitting United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator, EK Mawlong on October 18, last. The UDP, which is leading the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government have fielded 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 by-election is crucial for both the ruling MPA government and the opposition Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance. "The Umroi by-election 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 said 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 Mawlong. In the 60-member House - currently 59 following Mawlong's demise, the MPA has a strength of 32 with NCP (15) UDP (10) HSPDP (2), KHNAM and BJP one each and three Independent legislators, while the Congress has 27 members, including two Independent legislators.

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