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NPP’s Nihim downplays Mukul threat in Songsak

SHILLONG: Nihim Shira, the NPP legislator from Songsak and the party’s candidate from the constituency for the 2018 elections, has dismissed Chief Minister Mukul Sangma as a potential threat.
There is speculation that Sangma will contest from his home constituency Ampati in South West Garo Hills as well as Songsak in East Garo Hills, though he has not said anything explicitly.
Addressing media persons on the sidelines of FD Ramsiej’s induction into NPP here on Tuesday, Shira said, “There is no threat as I am the son of the soil.”
Ramseij and his supporters officially joined the party on Tuesday and is eyeing ticket from Umroi after UDP cold-shouldered him by cancelling his candidature.
Shira said Songsak had suffered for 40 years because it had always “borrowed” representatives from outside the constituency.
“But I am the first son of the soil to become an MLA and people still love and support me,” he added and threw an open challenge to anyone to contest against him.
Shira won the seat in 2008 as an NCP candidate and later in 2013 from NPP. Songsak and Dadenggre were the only two constituencies in which NPP could manage to win in 2013.
“Though Mukul Sangma has not announced his willingness to contest the election from Songsak but the way he is coming here every time for laying foundation stones and attending programmes, it seems he has made up his mind to contest the elections from Songsak,” the legislator said.
Both Shira and Ramsiej foresaw strong support base for NPP both in Khasi and Garo Hills. While Shira predicted the party’s victory in 15 seats in Garo Hills, Ramsiej claimed that people in Umroi will vote for NPP because of its young and dynamic leader Conrad Sangma.
“If we get 15 seats from Garo Hills and 19-20 from Khasi Hills, we will be the single largest party and form the new government,” said Shira.
Shira also praised Ramseij, “a great leader from UDP” and informed that an IAS officer will join the party on Wednesday while asserting that a political revolution is taking place to bring about a change in the state.
“People are fed up with the Congress and Comingone Ymbon lost faith in the government and he will soon join our party,” he added.
‘Forcefully deprived of ticket’
Ramseij said UDP forcefully deprived him of the poll ticket from Umroi. “I don’t know the reason but their action made my supporters dejected,” he added.
UDP in its first list of candidates had named Ramseij as its candidate from Umroi but the party was quick to give the ticket to Mangkara Pathaw.
Ramsiej alleged that Pathaw joined UDP on November 14 and the state election committee approved his name on November 22.

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