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KHNAM tussle marks scrutiny of papers

SHILLONG: Tussle between the two factions of KHNAM marked the scrutiny of papers for the KHADC polls and in Jaiaw constituency, the returning officer even contemplated drawing lots based on the district council rules as there was claim for KHNAM symbol by two candidates.
Friday was the last day of filing nominations followed by scrutiny of papers.
The KHNAM factions led by Adelbert Nongrum and Pyndapborthiaw Saibon raised claims and counter claims over the ownership of the party through the letters sent to East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner MW Nongbri, who is supervising the elections.
These letters were also addressed to the Election Commission of India which had asked both the factions to amicably settle the matter or approach the court.
Nongbri said the letters were forwarded to the respective returning officers to take a decision on the matter when they carry out the scrutiny of the nomination papers.
The KHNAM faction led by Nongrum had put up candidates in eight constituencies out of which the returning officers did not face any problem in seven constituencies after scrutiny. The nominations of seven candidates of KHNAM led by Nongrum were found valid.
KHNAM led by Saibon had fielded only three candidates and they are contesting as independents to avoid any controversy.
Saibon said since the Election Commission wanted to settle the matter amicably, his faction chose to put up Independent candidates.
However, the dispute arose in Jaiaw constituency where the Independent candidate, Thomas Passah, supported by Saibon claimed KHNAM party symbol of Dao which was also the symbol shown by KHNAM candidate Strong Pillar Kharjana.
According to the deputy commissioner, as per the election rule of the district council when two candidates from an unrecognised registered party apply for the same symbol, there is a provision to draw lots and the lucky one will get the desired symbol.
However, Nongrum said since KHNAM is a registered party though not recognised, the symbol should be allotted to KHNAM whereas another claimant is only an Independent candidate.
Nongbri said the returning officer will take a decision on the matter on Saturday.

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