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All eight nominations for Shillong found valid

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, March 24 � The nomination papers of all eight candidates, contesting the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, have been found valid after scrutiny today.

�The nominations papers of all eight candidates have been found valid after scrutiny,� Sanjay Goyal, Returning Officer said.

The sitting Congress candidate and former Union Minister for Water Resources Vincent Pala is seeking re-election from the seat. Pala is up against United Democratic Party working president Paul Lyngdoh, BJP�s Shibun Lyngdoh, AAP candidate, Amerington Kharshiing, Richard D Shabong of CPI and three independent candidates, including a woman.

The independent candidates include Denis Siangshai, who contested unsuccessfully on a BJP ticket during the last Parliamentary election from the same seat.

Another former member of the BJP, who held the post of president Mahila Morcha, Ivoryna Shylla, is the lone woman candidate in fray contesting as an independent.

PBM Basaiawmoit, another independent candidate, is also in the fray. He had contested unsuccessfully in the past for the Lok Sabha seat.

The Shillong Lok Sabha seat comprises 36 Assembly segments from the six districts of Khasi-Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi. In this parliamentary constituency, seven each Assembly seats are from Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills, five from Ri-Bhoi district and the rest 17 Assembly segments are from East Khasi Hills district.

In more than half of these 36 seats, State parties like the UDP, Hill State Peoples� Democratic Party, Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement Party and Independents have their representations.

However, the State parties have failed to capitalise on this point and are projecting their own candidates instead of putting up a consensus candidate to the advantage of the Congress.

Meanwhile, the last date of withdrawal of candidature has been fixed on March 26 and the elections would be held on April 9.

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