National People’s Party (NPP) national president and chief minister Conrad K Sangma, on September 15, said selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls will be based on ‘winnability factor’.
“We have started our exercise and the party is screening a large number of candidates (for the Shillong parliamentary seat),” Sangma told reporters.
He said that the party will give appropriate opportunities to individuals, who would like to apply and contest from the party ticket.
“It will be a democratic process where we will allow people to participate and share their desire to contest and then accordingly we will choose the candidate based on winnability and other factors,” he added.
The NPP chief was silent when asked if the party will field former Mawsyram legislator Himalaya Shangpliang, who recently quit the BJP, as its candidate from the Shillong constituency.
“Of course, we welcome everybody and we have always told everybody that joining has to be not based on any conditions as such. I am not talking about the concerned individual I am talking about in general. In general, everybody joins for the purpose of serving the people and the State and working through a particular party so that is the objective and that is how we would see it and of course as I said if any individual whoever is in the party would like to apply for the ticket they can apply for the party ticket,” he said.
With regards to the Tura parliamentary seat, Sangma said there is a certain consideration for the incumbent and sitting MP Agatha K Sangma.
“Of course we have a sitting MP out there and hence, obviously there is a certain consideration for the incumbent and sitting MP. Again as I said we have a full committee that processes the entire ticketing so therefore that process will also happen for Tura also,” he added.
On rumors that his elder brother and former Dadenggre legislator James K Sangma is also eyeing to contest the upcoming election, the NPP chief however said, “As I said all different individuals can apply and we will scrutinize. The process is the same for all so the process will be followed.”
On the other hand, Sangma said the desire is always there to put up a common candidate.
“But we know politics have always been about the ideology and principle of each political party and each political party would want their particular candidate to be there and there is nothing wrong in it, it is similar to what we do as a party when it comes to the MDA, we contest the elections, so therefore, there is nothing wrong in it. And as far as I know, workers of all political parties also be it UDP or HSPDP or any other political parties, all the workers of the political parties would also want to see their party also grow and hence they would want to contest the elections. I am sure that most of the political parties would want to contest and there is nothing wrong,” he added.
If the NPP will seek support from the MDA partners, the NPP chief said, “We will discuss with everybody and then decide. We have not really gone so much into the discussion.”