Multi-corner contest likely in Rajabala

TURA/SHILLONG, Oct 4: The bye-election to Rajabala constituency is turning into a multi-cornered contest following the decision of the BJP to field a candidate and a sitting Congress MDC hinting at throwing his hat into the ring.
The saffron party’s announcement of its district vice president Kingstone B Marak as the party candidate on Monday is not the only indication of a multi-cornered contest. Sitting Congress MDC Ashahel D Shira is unhappy after the party ignored him and awarded the ticket to former MLA Azad Zaman’s widow, Hashina Yasmin Mondal.
“I was one of the aspirants for the party ticket because my supporters wanted me to contest.  I am awaiting the response of our CLP leader Mukul M Sangma,” says Shira who has made no qualms about his displeasure.
Shira is not the only aspirant currently looking at the prospect of seeking the mandate as an Independent, under the current circumstances. Another local by the name of Karan Singh Sangma has also shown inclination to contest and begun mobilising support.
In the midst of all these, the regional UDP is also keen to test the waters of Rajabala.
“The party has reached out to one of the aspirants but nothing is final, as of now,” says a party member. UDP President Metbah Lyngdoh is visiting Garo Hills on Tuesday to discuss the Rajabala prospects with his party leaders from the region.
While the Congress is busy putting its own house in order with a rebellion looming over ticket allocation, and the UDP in search of a candidate, the NPP campaign is steamrolling ahead after having ‘successfully’ quelled any form of dissidence from its own party aspirant, Dr Mizanur Rahman Kazi, who after initially raising a furore has since settled down and withdrawn from the race.
“We are ahead of the pack and already in full campaign mode,” claims former MDC Sofiur Rahman who is campaigning in support of the NPP candidate, Abdus Saleh.
Earlier, the state BJP decided to field Kingstone B Marak from Rajabala following a meeting chaired by BJP state president Ernest Mawrie in presence of national vice president and in-charge Meghalaya M. Chuba Ao and Cabinet Minister Sanbor Shullai.
KHNAM to contest from Mawryngkneng
Meanwhile, KHNAM has entered the electoral battle for the Mawryngkneng seat by announcing the name of Esron Marwein as the party candidate.
KHNAM legislator, Adelbert Nongrum said that the party has decided to give the ticket to Marwein since he understands the ideology of the party.
Marwein said he no plan to contest the bye-election and it was his keen interest to serve the people that made him agree to contest the election.

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