The byelection to Tura Lok Sabha constituency, slated for May 16, will be a prestige battle with the Congress nominating Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma’s wife Dikkanchi Shira against Conrad K Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP). Conrad is the younger son of the former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma, whose death on March 6 had left the seat vacant.
Purno Sangma represented Tura from 1977 to 2008 except for a two-year gap in 1989-91, followed by his daughter Agatha Sangma for six more years (2008-2014). Agatha had also served as a Union minister in the UPA government. The UK-educated Conrad Sangma, who had only recently taken over as president of the NPP, had served as an MLA in Meghalaya during 2008-2013, elected from Selsela. Dikkanchi Shira is currently the MLA from Mahendraganj.
The NPP is likely to campaign around the sentiments attached to Purno Sangma while the CM has already said that the Congress would put up a tough contest.
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