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Gambegre bypolls: Amid reports of NPP fielding Meghalaya CM’s wife Mehtab, Cong says will field equally strong candidate

First Published: 5th July, 2024 13:26 IST

Gambegre was the only seat for the Congress in Garo Hills.

Meghalaya is gearing up for a high-profile contest with the bye-election to the Gambegre Assembly constituency set to be held in the coming days.

While, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s wife, Mehtab Chandee, has emerged as a front-runner to secure a ticket of the National People’s Party (NPP) to contest the bye-election, the Congress exuded confidence and said that it will field a strong candidate against Mehtab Chandee for the seat which fell vacant after incumbent Congress MLA Saleng A Sangma was elected to the Lok Sabha.

The Congress’s statement came just a day after the ruling NPP zeroed in on Mehtab Chandee as their candidate for the Gambegre seat.

As of now, the Congress has not decided on a candidate for Gambegre.

Speaking to media on Thursday, Congress working president Deborah Marak said,” We have not yet decided any names whom to put up for the the Gambegre seat. But whoever wants to apply they can apply. The party will adhere to procedural norms and will invite applications from interested candidates.”

On speculation that she is eyeing Gambegre to make a comeback, she clarified that she is not interested in contesting the Gambegre Bye-election as she is not from the particular district.

Marak said that the political dynamics will differ in the bye-election but expressed confidence in the party’s chances.

She highlighted that the people of Gambegre still hold a strong connection with Saleng Sangma, who has served as an MLA for 4 terms and an MDC for one term.

“ People there have a natural connection with Saleng Sangma and they will vote for Saleng Sangma’s personality and image,” she added.

Marak cautioned party leaders against overconfidence following their recent success in the Lok Sabha elections, emphasising the importance of working together as a team to win the upcoming Bye-election.

Deborah Marak also indicated that the party would review the factors leading to Congress’s loss in the Shillong Lok Sabha constituency after decades, aiming to understand and address the reasons behind the setback.

Earlier, BJP leader and State Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister, AL Hek said that he feel the Congress will bounce back in the by-polls.

Gambegre was the only seat for the Congress in Garo Hills.

Also Read: Meghalaya: BSF-BGB pledges to curb refugee influx from Bangladesh and trans-border crimes

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