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It’s final: 345 remain in fray

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: As many as 14,90,015 electorate will decided the fate of 345 candidates in the February 23 elections to 60-member Meghalaya Assembly.

With more Independent candidates withdrawing from the race on Saturday, the total number of candidates has come down to 345 from the original 357.

Four nominations were rejected due to various reasons and six candidates withdrew their papers. Saturday was the last day for withdrawal of nominations.

The candidates who withdrew their nominations include Richard Singh Lyngdoh (Sutnga Saipung), Bravelee Dkhar, Shibun Lyngdoh and H Simon Siangshai (all from Khliehriat), UDP candidate Biris Pasi (Raliang) and Mankara Pathaw (Jirang).

H Simon Siangshai, who had filed papers for Nartiang, withdrew his candidature from there on Friday. Richard Singh Lyngdoh also withdrew from the race on the same day.

It may be mentioned that during scrutiny, nominations of HSPDP candidate Nit Shabong (Mairang), dummy candidates of Congress and UDP from Nongstoin, Nestingdar Nongdkhar and Nerius Syiemlieh respectively were rejected.

Congress will contest in all the 60 seats while NPP and NCP have fielded candidates in 32 and 21 constituencies respectively.

The UDP will put up 50 candidates while altogether 122 Independents will try their luck in this electoral battle.

HSPDP and BJP have fielded 17 and 13 candidates respectively.

Other political parties like Garo National Council (GNC) put up six, KHNAM and LJP four each and MDP fielded two candidates.

Smaller parties like CPI, RSC and NESDP have fielded one candidate each.

The new entrant Samajwadi Party has put up 11 candidates.

With the completion of the withdrawal process and the allotment of symbols for contesting candidates and political parties, Garo Hills will have 165 candidates in 24 legislative seats, Our Tura Correspondent adds

West Garo Hills will have the largest share of candidates contesting the polls with 93, including 22 from Dadenggre, for 11 Assembly seats.

East Garo Hills district with its headquarters at Williamnagar will have the second largest number of candidates- 23 contestants followed by South Garo Hills (Baghmara) with 21 candidates, South West Garo Hills (Ampati) 17 candidates, and North Garo Hills-11 candidates.

Several influential politicians besides the 24 sitting MLAs from the Garo Hills are in the fray. Some of the heavyweights contesting the polls include Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma (Ampati) and his wife Dikkanchi D Shira (Mahendraganj), senior Congress MLA Sayedulah Nongrum (Rajabala) and power minister A T Mondal (Phulbari), Opposition leader from the NPP Conrad K Sangma (Selsella) and his brother James K Sangma (Dadenggre), former chief minister Salseng C Marak (Resubelpara) and former deputy chief minister Deborah C Marak (Williamnagar).

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