In a bid to return to Parliament after six years, former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma on Friday filed his nomination papers as a candidate of his National People’s Party (NPP) for the Tura Lok Sabha seat in Meghalaya. Mr. Sangma, suffering from a leg injury, went on a wheelchair to file his papers, and was accompanied by his daughter Agatha Sangma, the sitting MP in the constituency and a former Union Minister.
In 2008, Mr. Sangma, a former Chief Minister of Meghalaya, quit as an MP from the Tura Lok Sabha seat, which he had won nine times, to return to State politics. His daughter won the bye-election from the constituency in 2008 to become the youngest member in the 14th Lok Sabha. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Ms. Agatha Sangma retained the seat as an NCP candidate.
The 67-year-old veteran politician will be fighting for the seat against the 27-year-old Congress candidate Daryl William C. Momin, the grandson of Meghalaya’s first Chief Minister Captain Williamson A. Sangma. The Congress candidate also filed his papers on Friday as he seeks to debut in electoral politics.
In Assam, DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar and Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Ranee Narah as Congress nominees from Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur seat respectively were among those who filed nominations on the last date of nomination for the first phase of polling in the State. Three-time Congress MP Mani Kumar Subba also filed his papers for Tezpur Lok Sabha seat as an independent candidate after being denied party ticket. The ruling Congress has fielded party legislator and AICC secretary Bhupen Kumar Bora for Tezpur and warned Mr. Subba of disciplinary action if he stands against the official nominee.
Altogether, 54 candidates have filed nominations for the five Lok Sabha seats in Assam — Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Tezpur and Kaliabor — where the polling is scheduled in the first phase on April 7. They included State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Sarbananda Sonowal from Lakhimpur, the lone sitting Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) MP in the Lok Sabha Joseph Toppo from Tezpur, former Union Minister Bijoy Krishna Handique, Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate and senior journalist Manorom Gogoi from Jorhat.