Filing of nomination begins

Dikkanchi: Sympathy wave will not work for NPP  lConrad: This election will be tribute to my father

L to R) Congress candidate Dikkanchi D. Shira (3ed from left), accompanied by Sports Minister Zenith M Sangma and other party leaders, at the Deputy Commissioner’s office after filing her nomination in Tura on Wednesday; NPP candidate Conrad K Sangma ( 3rd from right) flanked by his family members and others stands outside the DC’s office shortly after filing his nomination. (UB)

TURA: The political scene in the State has warmed up once again with the two rivals — the ruling Congress and opposition National People’s Party — set for the electoral battle for the Tura Lok Sabha seat slated for May 16.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s wife Dikkanchi D Shira and youngest son of former Lok Sabha Speaker late Purno A Sangma’s Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday filed their nominations.
Dikkanchi was first to arrive at the deputy commissioner’s office to file her nomination papers. She had earlier planned to file her nomination in the afternoon.
Donning a traditional Garo Dakmanda dress in light blue color and accompanied by a host of Congress leaders including sports minister Zenith M Sangma she made her way to the returning officer’s chamber shortly after 11:30 am.
The Youth Congress members undertook a procession from the Congress Bhawan to the Deputy Commissioner’s office shouting slogans in support of the party and its candidate.
The arrival of the NPP candidate was a complete turnaround from that of the Congress.
Wearing a traditional dark blue Garo jacket and a Kotip headgear, Conrad Sangma went to file his nomination at the DC office walking in a quieter and solemn manner alongside his mother, younger sister Agatha and elder brother James.
In a brief interaction with media persons after filing of nominations, both candidates exuded confidence of winning the election.
“If you look at other recent elections like the by-polls following the death of then Baghmara MLA Sengran Sangma and Chokpot MLA Clifford Marak, the sympathy wave did not work. I am confident this time too people will go beyond sympathy and vote for development and change,” said the Mahendraganj MLA said.
For Conrad Sangma, the story is different. “This election necessitated due to the demise of our leader and my father. This election will be a tribute to him,” said the NPP candidate.
“People of Garo Hills are going to look at P A Sangma’s contribution and give their verdict. I am contesting to continue his dream of peace and development for our people and I have full faith in the people of Garo Hills,” said Conrad.
The election campaign is going to go beyond the tribute factor as far as the NPP is concerned.
“We are also going to make the people aware about the state government’s poor track record on development front and law and order in the Garo Hills. The poor financial position of the state will also be raised during our campaign,”  the NPP candidate said.
The NPP has also endorsed the GNC’s stand for a Garoland state. “P A Sangma had always said that India needs smaller states for development. We will continue this issue and carry forward his dream,” said Conrad.
When pointed out that people who have heard him speak claim he lacks humour and wit unlike his late father, Conrad replied, “My father was a complete man. He had many qualities which were all divided amongst the four children. James has the vision while Agatha has the humour.”