Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Sonia endorses ‘apex committee’

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Meghalaya Cong’s poll panel proposal dumped

From CK Nayak

 NEW DELHI: In a surprise move, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday approved a high-level committee for coming Assembly polls in Meghalaya which includes a virtual who’s who of the party.

She, however, dumped the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee’s (MPCC) proposal to form a State-level panel.

The committee, dubbed as ‘apex committee’ is headed by the AICC general secretary in-charge of Meghalaya Dr Dhaniram Shandil.

Sanjay Bapna is his deputy as vice-chairman.

The committee includes Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, MPCC chief Friday Lyngdoh, two former Chief Ministers – D D Lapang, Salseng C Marak and Union Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H Pala as members, AICC sources said.

The committee also has two women leaders — Deborah Mark, working president, MPCC and Wangsuk Syiem, former member of the National Commission for Women.

However, inclusion of FW Momin, a former minister and Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh has surprised many.

Former Union Minister PR Kyndiah and Education Minister Dr RC Laloo are also in the committee.

“We have tried to give an ethnic and territorial representation in the apex committee with the inclusion of Khasis, Garos and Jaintias,” the AICC sources said on condition of anonymity.

The formal announcement of the ‘apex committee’ will be made in a day or two, sources added.

In addition to the inter-party infighting, the regrouping of UDP and preparedness of the NCP have unnerved the ruling party ahead of the polls.

The State Congress had earlier plunged into election mode with the leadership directing various block committees to submit the list of party candidates for the 2013 Assembly elections before February 15 next. Within the Congress there was a sharp division even on formation of such high-level committee putting the AICC in a fix. On top of all odds, delimitation of constituencies has sent many top sitting legislators into a tizzy.

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