AICC’s screening committee vets name of Pala, Mukul as candidates for LS polls

Shillong Mar 13: A screening committee of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) has vetted the names of former Chief Minister, Mukul Sangma and sitting Congress MP, Vincent H. Pala, and their names would be declared as party candidates from Tura and Shillong Parliamentary seats respectively within a day or two.

“The names of both Mukul and Pala have been vetted by the AICC’s screening committee and the party will officially declare their names within a day or two,” a Congress leader said on Wednesday.

Shillong and Tura will go to Lok Sabha polls on April 11. Filing of nominations will begin on March 18.

Pala, the current member of the Congress in Lok Sabha, was elected twice from Shillong in 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Pala won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by a margin of 40,379 votes against Independent candidate, P.B.M. Basaiawmoit.

Mukul, the former Chief Minister, and presently the Leader of Opposition in the Meghalaya Assembly, had unsuccessfully contested twice from Tura in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls and the bye election in 2006 against former Lok Sabha Speaker, late Purno Agitok Sangma.

In 2004, Mukul as Congress candidate, polled 1,19,175 votes, while Purno as candidate of the Trinamool Congress got 1,91,938 votes.

In the bye election in 2006, Mukul who was again fielded by the Congress secured 1,18,848 votes, and Purno as candidate of the NCP polled 2,20,024 votes.

The Tura seat has been without an MP since last year after Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma resigned as Lok Sabha MP on getting elected as the MLA of South Tura constituency.

The National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) has decided to support the candidature of Jemino Mawthoh of the United Democratic Party (UDP) from Shillong, while the name of former Union Minister, Agatha K Sangma is doing the round that she would be the candidate of the NPP from Tura.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is also part of the MDA will set up candidates from both Shillong and Tura parliamentary constituencies.