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Shillong seat clearance likely on Wednesday

AICC election panel to choose between Pala, Kharshiing

SHILLONG: The All India Congress Committee is likely to announce the name of either sitting Shillong MP Vincent H Pala or Congress member John F Kharshiing on March 12 during the party’s Central Election Committee meeting to be chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

A Congress source on Sunday informed that Congress legislator Ronnie V Lyngdoh, who was a last-minute entrant in the race for the party ticket, and former Assembly Speaker Charles Pyngrope may not be considered for the ticket.

The AICC’s Central Election Committee which met on Saturday had announced the name of Daryl William Cheran Momin as the party candidate for the Tura Lok Sabha seat amid high drama as contradicting reports emerged claiming that Zenith Sangma, brother of Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma, had been officially selected as the Tura candidate.

The MPCC, however, promptly dismissed the reports claiming that Zenith’s name had cropped up in the list owing to a typing error.

State Congress leaders resort to old tactics

Reminiscent of the days of the tussle for change of leadership in the State Government, Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma, Cabinet ministers Prestone Tynsong and Sniawbhalang Dhar (both Congress) and four Independents, who are opposed to the candidature of sitting MP Vincent Pala, had camped in Delhi from Friday.

The AICC has taken exception to the Chief Minister’s, Ministers’ and other legislators’ stay in Delhi at a time when the Budget session is underway in the State Legislative Assembly, a party source said on Sunday.

Except for the Chief Minister, others have been asked to return to the state capital, the party source added.

The tendency of the Cabinet ministers and legislators to camp in Delhi for long periods of time was a common phenomenon during the power tussle in the State when there were demands for election of a CLP leader of their choice demanding the removal of the existing leader.

The tendency has remained, albeit, this time the demand has changed. The team camping in Delhi has been seeking to convince AICC not to field Pala as the Congress candidate in the Shillong seat.

Besides Dr. Sangma, Tynsong and Dhar, others members of the anti-Pala lobby who rushed to Delhi on Friday included Independent legislators Julius Dorphang, Justine Dkhar, Stephan Mukhim and Robinus Syngkon.

MPCC president DD Lapang, who had arrived in Delhi on March 7 to discuss the name of candidates for the Shillong and Tura seats, left for Shillong on Sunday.

It is yet to be known who will pay for the travel allowance of the Congress leaders and the Independents who rushed to Delhi on Friday last.

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