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Meghalaya: BJP will contest Gambegre by-polls, informs party leader and cabinet minister AL Hek

First Published: 2nd July, 2024 13:27 IST

Hek, however, said that the party is yet to decide on the name of the candidate and the central leadership will take the final call

Its official. The BJP in Meghalaya is ready to contest the by-elections for the Gambegre assembly constituency, which fell vacant after incumbent Congress MLA Saleng A Sangma was elected to the Lok Sabha.

Speaking to newspersons in Shillong, BJP leader and cabinet minister in Conrad Sangma-led Meghalaya government, AL Hek informed that the party has already discussed the matter with the central leadership. “We have discussed this with our respected president, BJP national vice-president and also BJP in charge for Meghalaya, so they are very keen to contest for the by-election seats, so we the BJP definitely will be contesting the elections.”
Hek, however, said that the party is still yet to decide on the name of the candidate and maintained that the central leadership will take the final call on this.
“We have not received any name, but there are so many aspirants who want to contest. The name must officially come forward, only after that we can discuss. I saw his (Bernard Marak) name in the newspaper and he is also keen to contest. But it purely depends on the party as to whom the ticket will be allotted,” Hek said.
Asked, if he thinks the Congress will be able to win the Gambegre by-polls, Hek said that he does feel the Congress will bounce back in the by-polls.
In his reply Hek said, “If you ask me, I don’t see. Because this is a different election altogether.”
On the otherhand, BJP’s ally, the NPP too is making all out efforts to ensure that the party wins the by-elections from the Gambegre assembly constituency. The NPP held a meeting on June 15 to strategise for the bypolls. The meeting was held at the residence of NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.
But there was no official statement regarding what transpired in the meeting.
In fact, major political parties have already shifted their focus to the Gambegre bypolls. The bypolls are held within 6 months of a seat falling vacant.
The Gambegre bypoll is set to be another high profile contest as names of 3 women have emerged as frontrunners in the race.
While a section within NPP supported the candidature of James PK Sangma, brother of CM Sangma, later James Sangma had informed that he is not going to contest the elections. Inputs suggest that many within the NPP are in favour of party President and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma’s wife, Mehtab Chandee as the candidate for the by-poll.
The Congress is likely to give a ticket to Jingjang M. Marak, a close aide of Saleng A Sangma.
Sources from the party have indicated that senior Congress leader and former deputy chief minister, Deborah Ch Marak is also eyeing Gambegre to make a comeback. As far as the Trinamool Congress is concerned Sadhiarani M Sangma, the wife of Zenith M Sangma will be contesting the by-poll.
The Gambegre constituency was represented by Saleng A Sangma as an MLA. However, after his election as an MP, the by-poll has been necessitated. It was the only seat for the Congress in Garo Hills.

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