In a bid to return to Parliament after ten years, former Union Minister Agatha Sangma on Friday filed her nomination papers as a candidate of the National People’s Party (NPP) for the Tura parliamentary seat in Meghalaya. Sitting Congress MP Vincent H. Pala on Friday filed his nomination papers for the Shillong parliamentary constituency, seeking a third straight term in the Lok Sabha.
Meghalaya has two Lok Sabha constituencies — Shillong and Tura — that will go to the polls on April 11.
Agatha, 38, who is the younger sister of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Sangma, was elected twice to the Lok Sabha from Tura and served as a minister in the UPA-II government.
Tura has been without a Lok Sabha member since last year as Conrad was the sitting member and had resigned after he was elected member of Meghalaya Assembly last year.
“I have strong faith in my people. My father (Purno Sangma) has nurtured this constituency for more than four decades and people have seen the fruits of development. The electorate of Tura will vote for NPP that ensures peace and development in our region,” Agatha told IANS.
The NPP candidate, who is pitted against Congress heavyweight and former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, is supported by the ruling parties of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance barring the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BJP has decided to fight the elections on its own.
Pala, 51, who was a Union Minister in the Congress-led UPA government, asserted that his party would return to power.
“There is no doubt that the Congress will return to power as the BJP has lost control in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and even in southern states. Its (BJP) allies are also running away from the party,” he said.
“There is no way that the BJP will retain power except if they plant a bomb in a jungle or kill some people or raise some other issue to win the elections. But even that will not help them to translate the situation into votes,” Pala said.
The engineer-turned-politician was confident that the voters of Shillong will elect him for the third straight term as he ensured development in the region.
The total number of candidates who have filed their nomination papers for the Shillong seat has reached five, including Khun HynAiewtrep National Awakening Movement’s T.H.S. Bonney and United Democratic Party’s Jemino Mawthoh. Kennedy Khyriem filed his nomination papers as a standby candidate of Pala.