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Rophul twist to Tura by-poll

Another Parliamentary Secretary puts in his papers

UDP, GNC not to join fray

SHILLONG/TURA:  In an interesting turn of events, Independent legislator from Rongara-Siju constituency Rophul S. Marak on Tuesday quit the post of Parliamentary Secretary to contest the by-poll to Tura Lok Sabha seat.
As Parliamentary Secretary he was holding the charge of Information and Public Relations department.
Marak is expected to file his nomination papers on Wednesday.
Sources said that to avoid any legal complications during the filing of nominations that Marak quit the post of Parliamentary Secretary.
The Assembly Rules have equated Parliamentary Secretaries to the rank of Ministers of State.
When contacted, Marak said that since this was an office of profit, he did not want to continue to hold the post.
“I was fed-up with the Congress government, so I took the decision,” he said.
He, however, claimed the support of voters affiliated to several political parties including Congress, GNC and also the supporters of the Independent legislators from Garo Hills.
Marak said that the voters can choose him as an alternate to both Congress and NPP.
Marak is the second legislator supporting the Congress-led MPA-II government to quit the post of Parliamentary Secretary after Lamboklang Mylliem, another Independent legislator representing Jirang quit the post in March.
UDP, GNC not to join fray :  Both the UDP and GNC have decided not to contest the Tura by-election. The Garo National Council has decided not to contest the May 16 by-election for the Tura parliamentary seat following the decision of its candidate Nikman Ch Marak to opt out of the race.
The chairman of the Garo Hills State Movement Committee had been proposed by a section of the GNC leaders and workers to contest the by-election.
“I am grateful to the GNC leaders and workers for proposing my candidature. However, I feel it is too early for me to contest elections since there is a lot of work to be done in regards to our movement for a separate Garo state,” informed Nikman Marak while speaking to The Shillong Times in Tura.
The GNC is a part of the NPP led Garo Hills Progressive Alliance which is currently holding the reins of power in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council. One of the three GNC members (MDCs), Augustine Marak is the deputy chief executive member (Dy CEM) in the Denang T Sangma led executive committee.
Meanwhile, the UDP has taken a decision to support NPP candidate Conrad Sangma at a meeting held on Tuesday at Baksalpara, North Garo Hills. The meeting was attended by senior party leaders of the state including party president Donkupar Roy, Jemino Mawthoh,    Bindo Lanong, Allan Dkhar among others from Khasi Hills  and senior party leaders from  Garo Hills including chief Adviser of the party BJ Momin.
Mawthoh informed that a committee was formed after the meeting to adopt a strategy to ensure the victory of NPP candidate.

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