Shillong/Imphal, March 25 (IANS) Ninteen candidates on Monday filed their nominations in the two states of Meghalaya and Manipur for the first phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha elections on April 11.
The filing of nomination papers for the single-phase election to the two Meghalaya Lok Sabha seats — Shillong and Tura — ended here on Monday with 11 candidates filing their nomination papers.
Former Union Minister Agatha Sangma, the sister of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and the youngest daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma, is the lone woman candidate who filed her nomination papers as a National People’s Party (NPP) candidate from the Tura seat.
A total of eight candidates filed their nomination papers from Shillong constituency, which is currently represented by two-time MP Vincent H. Pala of the Congress.
The other candidates who submitted their nomination papers to the Returning Officer of Shillong constituency, Abhishek Bhagotia, include Sanbor Shullai of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Jemino Mawthoh of the United Democratic Party, T.H.S. Bonney of Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement and three Independent candidates — Romeo Phira Ranee, Justice Kharbasanti and Samuel Hashah.
Former Congress legislator Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem also filed his nomination papers as a standby candidate for Pala.
The Shillong parliamentary seat comprises 36 assembly segments spread across the Khasi-Jaintia Hills.
Only three candidates — former Union Minister Agatha Sangma of NPP, former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma of the Congress and Rikman Momin of BJP — filed their nomination papers from Tura parliamentary constituency.
In Manipur, on the last day of filing nomination papers for the reserved Outer Manipur constituency on Monday, eight candidates submitted their nomination papers.
District Collector of Thoubal district H. Roshita, who accepted the nomination papers, said that there are candidates from both local and national parties and that the exact number of eligible candidates shall be known only after scrutiny and withdrawals.
Chief Binister N. Biren Singh of the BJP-led coalition government accompanied Benjamin Mate, the BJP candidate for the reserved seat.
The voters of Jiri Assembly constituency in Jiribam district and seven other segments in the Thoubal district can vote for the tribal candidates but they cannot contest the seat since it is reserved for the tribals only. The eight assembly segments were included in the Outer Manipur constituency whose voters number about 2,00,000 in view of the small population of the tribals.
Replying to a question on the sidelines of the filing of the nomination papers Biren said that he would look into the denial of democratic rights to the non-tribal voters of the eight Assembly segments in the state.