The All India Congress Committee, have finally zeroed in on 60 candidates for the forthcoming election to 60-member Meghalaya Assembly from a pool of too many ticket aspirants.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma's wife Dikanchi D Shira and his brother Zenith Sangma are among those who have made to the list of final 60 party candidates for the election in the northeastern hill state.
The notable among those whose names are missing from the list of Congress candidates include the incumbent Community and Rural Development Minister Salseng Sangma and four other sitting Congress legislators Samuel Sangma, Abdus Saleh, Nehlang Lyngdoh and Stanly Wiss Rymbai.
Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma is contesting from the Ampati LAC in Garo Hills while his wife, Dikkanchi D Shira and brother Zenith Sangma are contesting from Mahendraganj and Rangsakona constituencies respectively.
The party has given ticket to Meghalaya's media baron and an incumbent independent member of Legislative Assembly, Manas Chaudhuri to contest from the newly carved out South Shillong constituency. Two other independent MLAs, A T Mondal (Phulbari) and Limison Sangma (Raksamgre). Too many ticket aspirants for the forthcoming Assembly elections in Meghalaya had put the leadership of the ruling Congress in a quandary this time to select only 60 candidates.
The Congress is looking forward to come back to power in the hill State given that the opposition camp is hugely divided. With veteran P A Sangma out of the main opposition party Nationalist Congress Party, the Congress is hoping to cash in on the situation.
Meanwhile, P A Sangma is trying to make a strong presence in the State politics by forming a new political party called Nationalist People's Party and many of the NCP leaders and MLAs in Meghalaya have already shifted allegiance to the new political party of Sangma, who has a strong support base in Garo hills areas of Meghalaya.