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Sonia to campaign in M’laya
Published on 9 Apr. 2009 2:11 AM IST
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Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would launch campaign in Meghalaya for the first phase of the parliamentary elections to be held on April 16. Gandhi is scheduled to arrive here on April 13 and launch the campaign for Congress candidates- Vincent H Pala and Deborah C Marak, who are contesting from Shillong and Tura Lok Sabha seats. The Congress chief, however, has decided not to campaign in Tura, where a bete-noire P A Sangmas daughter Agatha K Sangma is contesting the election on NCP ticket. Though the Congress has forged a pre-poll alliance with the NCP in some other states, the NCP, however, had distanced itself from the Congress in the North Eastern states and forged a pre-poll alliance with non-Congress parties. The former Lok Sabha speaker had already reached an understanding with major regional political parties- the Asom Gana Parishad, Manipur Peoples Party, Nagaland Peoples Front, Mizoram National Front, Sikkim Democratic Front, Asom United Democratic Front as well as the BJP and Left parties to fight tooth and nail against the Congress. ‘’I had made it clear to Pawarji that the NCP will have nothing to do with the Congress in the North East,’’ Sangma said. Political observers in Meghalaya are keenly awaiting the visit of Ms Gandhi not so much for her election campaign, but also in view of Presidents Rule in the state and the much talked about possibility of the Congress forming the next government. Meghalaya has two Parliamentary seats- Shillong and Tura. Shillong parliamentary seat consist of 36 Assembly segments covering Ri-Bhoi, Khasi and Jaintia hills, while Tura seat spreads over 24 Assembly segments in three districts of Garo hills. Altogether, 11 candidates have filed their nomination papers, including seven candidates from Shillong parliamentary seats and four from Tura parliamentary seats in Meghalaya.

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