The opposition Congress, on December 29, cleared the first list of 40 candidates for the upcoming 2023 Assembly elections in the state, which will be approved by the Congress high command in Delhi soon.
Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief and Shillong MP, Vincent H Pala, is among the candidates cleared by the Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) here.
Pala will be contesting against sitting AITC legislator Shitlang Pale from Sutnga-Saipung constituency.
The first list also featured the names of 10 former legislators and seven women candidates. As many as 30 of the 40 candidates are fresh faces, who will contesting the elections for the first time.
Addressing media persons, Pala informed that the 40 candidates include 26 in Khasi and Jaintia Hills region and 14 in Garo Hills region.
“We will again sit for a meeting after a week to decide on the remaining 20 seats which include 10 in Khasi-Jaintia Hills and 10 in Garo Hills,” he said.
“We only cleared the list but the names will be approved and announced from Delhi,” he added.
Stating that 20% of the candidates are women, Pala said, “I am proud to inform that there are 8 women candidates and some of them are highly qualified and hard working. None of the political parties will have so many ladies (in their respective lists).”
The MPCC president, who is also an engineer by profession, said that over 6 engineers are contesting from the Congress this time besides 8 who have completed their masters and Ph.D and one doctor.
There are at least six sitting MDCs in the list and they are: Batskhem Ryntathiang (Mairang), Gabriel Wahlang (Nongstoin), Charles Marngar (Mawhati), Carnes Sohshang (Mawkyrwat), Ronnie V Lyngdoh (Mylliem) and Pynshngainlang N Syiem (Pynthorumkhrah).
Ronnie and Pynshngainlang are also former legislators.
The other former legislators include: Dr Celestine Lyngdoh (Umsning), J Antonius Lyngdoh (North Shillong), Deborah Marak (Williamnagar), Billykid A Sangma (North Tura), Edmund S Sangma (Rangsakona), Sayeedullah Nongrum (Mahendraganj), Rophul S Marak (Rongara-Siju) and Brigady Napak Marak (Bajengdoba).
Apart from Deborah, the seven other women candidates are Rona Khymdei (Nongpoh), Venetia Pearl Mawlong (South Shillong), Dr Banidashisha Kharkongor (Nongthymmai), Lakyntiew Sohkhlet (Sohra), Pynhunlang Nongrum (Mawkynrew), Victorealness Syiemlieh (Ranikor) and Uttora G Sangma (Ampati).
The first list also include former DSP turned chairman of the disbanded Garo terrorist outfit – Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Champion R Sangma.
The other candidates are Emlang Laloo (Nartiang), Nehemayah Tyngkan (Mokaiaw), Adrian Lambert Chyne Mylliem (Jirang), Marbud Dkhar (Mawlai), Manuel Badwar (East Shillong), Sardonik Nongkhlaw (Nongkrem), S Osborne Kharjana (Sohiong), Dannyson Kurbah (Mawphlang), Gopal Stone Hynniewta (Mawsynram), Nehru Suting (Pynursla), Goldenstar Nonglong (Rambrai-Jyrngam), Timjim K Momin (Mendipathar), Frederick Sangma (Raksamgre), Dr Kapin Ch Boro (Tikrikilla), Augustine D Marak (Dadenggre), Roger Benny A Sangma (Dalu), Karak R Sangma (Chokpot).