80 candidates file papers for Meghalaya poll

SHILLONG, Feb 4 – Over 80 candidates have filed their nomination papers across the State for the 60-seat Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, including the veteran of Meghalaya politics, Hopingstone Lyngdoh.

In all, 87 candidates have filed their nominations and there is still four days to go till February 6.

Today, 24 candidates filed their nomination papers, which included Lyngdoh who filed his papers for the Nongstoin seat in West Khasi Hills district on the Hill State People’ Democratic Party (HSPDP) ticket, of which he is the president.

Lyngdoh has been representing Nongstoin since 1983. The 84-year-old veteran is up against Advisor Pariong who would be one of the contenders for the seat.

Pariong a month ago quit the HSPDP and joined the Congress and announced his decision to contest against Lyngdoh, who in fact had brought him into electoral politics. He was the legislator from Pariong constituency, but after delimitation, he decided to contest from Nongstoin instead.

It would not be an easy task to uproot the veteran from his seat, who has been championing the separate Khasi-Jaintia State agenda for years. However, development is one issue that would dominate the elections in Nongstoin.

Although Lyngdoh is respected for his long innings in State politics and for being one of the key figures who fought for Meghalaya’s Statehood, poor road communication and absence of other basic facilities in the constituency is being generally talked about ahead of the elections.

But it is up to the young Pariong to reach out to the people on the issue of development, which is indeed a tall task because people in the constituency have so far generally voted out of emotion and respect for the veteran politician, and things do not seem to change much this time around as well.