Mukul, wife file papers

Our Correspondent

Shillong, Feb. 5: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma and his wife Dikkanchi D. Shira today filed their nominations for the ensuing Assembly elections along with a host of other candidates across Meghalaya.

Both Sangma and Shira filed their nominations at the deputy commissioner's office in Ampati under South West Garo Hills.

While Sangma will seek a fifth straight win from Ampati as a Congress nominee, Shira, on the other hand, will be making her electoral debut from Mahendraganj constituency as a Congress candidate.

This election will be an acid test for Sangma, as he will seek to retain the chief minister's chair. But with infighting within the Congress galore, it would not be a cakewalk for him to become the top-most executive of the state.

Apart from the husband-wife duo, Conrad Sangma and his elder brother James Sangma filed their nominations as National People's Party (NPP) candidates. Conrad will seek re-election from Selsella while James will do the same from Dadenggre.

It will be for the first time that the NPP will contest in any election in Meghalaya.

The NPP, with Purno A. Sangma as the star campaigner, will also seek to increase its tally in the Assembly.

While no political party is likely to get a clear majority, the NPP could be working in a coalition government with some like-minded parties.

The other prominent candidates who filed their nominations included UDP working president Paul Lyngdoh from West Shillong, woman UDP candidate Bari Kharsati from North Shillong and others.

The last date for filing nominations will be tomorrow while the date of scrutiny will be February 7. The last date for withdrawal will be February 9.

Meghalaya will be going to polls on February 23 and counting will be held on February 28.