SHILLONG, Oct 29 - Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister RC Laloo is in two minds whether to contest the upcoming Assembly elections from Jaintia Hills.
Laloo holds the Education portfolio, but of late has faced challenges to hold on to his seat in Jowai, also the headquarters of West Jaintia Hills district. �I have applied for the party ticket, but let�s see. I will decide when the time comes,� Laloo said.
It is not that the party would deny the veteran Congressman the ticket, but what is worrying him is the feedback he is probably getting from his constituency.
He faces a stiff challenge from his former Cabinet colleague Sniawbhalang Dhar, a business tycoon. Dhar wants his brother-in-law to contest from the seat and has strongly canvassed the party for giving his relative the party ticket.
However, the Congress is reluctant to ditch the veteran and give the newcomer the ticket for which there have been heartburns between the party and Dhar.
There is another strong contender for the prestigious Jowai seat in Moonlight Pariat, the former Chief Executive Member of Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council.
Faced with the two formidable opponents and also the feedback from the people, Laloo is unlikely to contest from the Jowai seat. It is to be seen if he would try to contest from any other constituency in Jaintia Hills.
�I am in good health,� Laloo, who is 66 years old, said. He, however, hesitated and added: �These are important decisions and only when the time comes we would see if I would contest or not,� the veteran said.
Earlier, another senior leader and former Home Minister, Roshan Warjri has decided not to contest the forthcoming elections citing personal issues. So, the Congress faces a two-pronged problem, one of seniors not willing to take the chance of contesting and losing their seats and the other of desertion.
At least four senior Congress men and former Cabinet Ministers are on their way out of the party and these are Rowell Lyngdoh, Prestone Tynsong, and the Dhar brothers.