The stage is set for the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly election 2023. With no candidate came forward to withdraw their candidature on Friday, a total number of 375 candidates are in fray for the election to the 60 member Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on February 27.
Of this, While 339 are male candidates, the number of female candidates are 36.
The maximum number of candidates filed nomination in East Khasi Hills, followed by West Garo Hills.
The elections will be held on February 27 while the votes will be counted on March 2.
Both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress are contesting in 60 seats each.
The ruling NPP had given tickets to 58 candidates but its candidate from Ranikor constituency Martin M Danggo deserted the party and joined BJP. The party later decided not to put up any candidate from Ranikor, thus, the party is contesting in only 57 seats.
The opposition All India Trinamool Congress is contesting in 56 seats. With parliamentary Party Leader of Meghalaya TMC Dr. Mukul Sangma contesting from two seats, the party has 55 candidates.
The United Democratic Party (UDP) is contesting 46 seats. Interestingly neither NPP nor AITC has put up candidates against UDP President Metbah Lyngdoh.
The Voice of the People Party (VPP) has given tickets to 18 candidates.
The Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) is contesting in 11 seats. The People’s Democratic Front is contesting in 9 seats. Garo National Council is contesting in 2 seats.
As many as 44 Independents are contesting election this year.
After the entry of AITC in Meghalaya in a big way, some of the national parties too are trying their luck this election. The Republican Party of India (A) is contesting in 6 seats, Janata Dal (United) is contesting in 3 seats, Republican Party of India is contesting in 2 seats, and Gana Suraksha Party will contest only in one seat.
This election, two time legislator and National People’s Party National President Conrad Sangma will seek re-election from South Tura constituency in the West Garo Hills district. Conrad won the Assembly election for the first time in 2008 but in 2013 he lost the election from the Selsella seat to then Congress candidate (L) Clement Marak.
Meanwhile, United Democratic Party chief Metbah is seeking re-election from the Mairang constituency in the Eastern West Khasi Hills district.
Former chief minister Mukul Sangma is contesting as a Trinamool Congress nominee this time from two seats – Songsak in East Garo Hills and Tikrikilla in West Garo Hills.
Other prominent leaders contesting seeking re-election are Meghalaya TMC President Charles Pyngrope, Meghalaya TMC Vice President Zenith M Sangma, NPP National Vice President Prestone Tynsong, TMC Vice president George Lyngdoh, VPP president Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit and Senior BJP leader AL Hek.
Lok Sabha MP from Shillong parliamentary seat and Meghalaya Congress President Vincent Pala too has jumped into the state politics.