BJP okays nine candidates for Meghalaya elections

Shillong: BJP on Saturday approved the list of nine candidates out of 30 names sent for central leadership's approval for the February 23 elections in Meghalaya, officials said in Shillong.

"Chaired by Nitin Gadkari, the Central Election Committee of the party which met today in the national capital approved the names of nine candidates," state BJP Secretary D Chakraborty said.

"BJP is fielding candidates for city constituencies of East Shillong, West Shillong, Nongthymmai and Pynthorumkhrah segments," Mr Chakraborty said.

According to the party officials, BJP has approved Andy Lyngwa as its candidate to contest against Water Resources Minister A L Hek, who joined the Congress even as he was elected on party tickets in the 2008 poll.

In keeping with the reservation for women, the party has also allotted ticket to a female candidate, Veecare Nicia Lamare, who is contesting from Nartiang constituency in Jaintia Hills district.

Romeo Phira Rani is contesting against two cabinet ministers- Deputy CM B M Lanong (UDP) and Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh whose constituencies were delimitated.

Augustine Lakiang would be the party candidate from Shillong South constituency and he would have to compete with Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai (NCP) and journalist-turned politician Manas Choudhury (Congress).

The party has also approved the names of Ehkupar Nongrum (Nongthymmai), Fairly Bert Kharrngi (Nongkrem), Philip Sangma (Rajabala), Bhupendra B Hajong (Salmanpara) and Sisir Marak from Dalu.

Among those who attended the party meet today were L K Advani, Chairman, BJP Parliamentary Party, Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha), Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha) and all the members of the Central Election Committee of the BJP.