ECI sounds Lok Sabha polls bugle, Meghalaya parties yet to declare candidates

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SHILLONG, March 10: Meghalaya will go to polls for the two Lok Sabha seat in a single phase polling on April 11, the counting for which will take place on May 23.

The announcement for the parliamentary polls was made on Sunday evening by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

A total of 11,82,725 voters will exercise their right to franchise for the Shillong parliamentary constituency while 7,09,991 are eligible voters for the Tura seat.

There are 1114 Polling stations in Tura and 2053 Polling stations for the Shillong seat.

The announcement will get political parties in the state to shift gears and race with each other to get to the top.

As far as announcing the names of the candidates are concerned, majority of the political parties in the state are yet to declare their candidates.

The ruling MDA coalition is also yet to decide on a common candidate and the meeting to decide on the same is likely to be held this week. The United Democratic Party (UDP) although has proposed the name of their candidate Jemino Mawthoh to be chosen as the MDA common candidate yet it remains unclear whether or not the MDA coalition will clear it.

The NPP too has not proposed any names from their party be it for the Shillong or Tura Lok Sabha seat while the BJP, an ally of the MDA, has decided to contest both the seats on their own. The BJP candidates remain to be announced.

Not far off, the opposition Congress too is yet to decide on the candidate. Senior Leader Deborah Marak, Youth Congress president Richard Marak and Congress spokesperson Zenith Sangma are few of the applicants for the Tura seat while Sitting MP, Vincent Pala looks forward to contest from the Shillong seat for the third consecutive time. Former Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh has also joined in the race.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress too is not free of difference in opinion. Many in the Congress camp observed that Leader of the Opposition Dr Mukul Sangma will be the best bet for the Congress to contest from Tura seat despite Dr Mukul clearly stating that he has no intent to do so. In the meantime there are other applicants who feel they have a chance to win.

Now, with the sounding of the poll bugle, it remains to be seen which party fields whom and who will triumph.