The United Democratic Party (UDP) will announce its first list of candidates for the upcoming 2023 Assembly elections on December 6.
Sources informed that the names of all the sitting UDP legislators will feature in the first list which includes, the party president and Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh (Mairang), cabinet ministers Lahkmen Rymbui (Amlarem), Brolding Nongsiej (Mawthadraishan) and Kyrmen Shylla (Khliehriat), Mowkaiaw legislator Nujorki Sungoh and Ranikor MLA Pius Marwein.
However, sitting Mawphlang MLA, Eugeneson Lyngdoh has opted out of the race for the 2023 polls while associate member and Independent MLA from Baghmara Samuel M Sangma has disassociated himself from the UDP to contest from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The other prominent names who will feature in the first list are, Chief Executive Member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council Titosstarwell Chyne (Sohra), Members of District Council (MDC) Paul Lyngdoh (Shillong West), Mitchell Wankhar (Mylliem) and nominated MDC Bindo M Lanong (Nongkrem).
However, Lanong – a veteran regional party leader will have to fight for the party ticket since the UDP is in favour of allotting it to sitting MLA Lambor Malgniang.
The veteran leader has threatened to leave the party if he is not given a ticket to contest from Nongkrem even as the UDP had categorically stated that he should contest from Shillong East – his home constituency.
The list will also feature former Nongthymmai legislator and UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh.
“In the first list the names of around 30 candidates will be announced, of which around two-three will be from Garo Hills region,” party sources informed.
Sources also informed that in constituencies where sitting legislators from other parties who are planning to contest from the UDP – these will feature in the second list since the MLAs will have to resign first from their parent parties before their names could be officially announced.
Some of the MLAs from other parties who have committed to contest from the UDP are, cabinet minister and Hill State People’s Democratic Party legislator Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar (Mawkyrwat) – suspended Congress legislators, Process T Sawkmie (Mawlai) and Mayralborn Syiem (Nongpoh), Trinamool Congress MLA Shitlang Pale (Sutnga-Saipung) and Independent legislator Lambor Malgniang (Nongkrem).