The ruling Congress has screened applications of as many as 90 aspirants vying for a party ticket and kept four seats open for those who wanted to apply for ticket to contest the upcoming Assembly polls on February 27.
The state election committee headed by Congress president Celestine Lyngdoh held a daylong meeting here to screen the names of applicants from all 60 seats.
However, after screening, the committee found that four Assembly seats – Pynthorumkhrah, Raliang, North Shillong and South Shillong – should be kept open to allow more people to apply for party tickets.
Lyngdoh told reporters that the papers of 90 applicants were checked during the day and the same would be forwarded to the AICC screening committee for final approval, according to Congress MP from Shillong and Meghalaya PCC working president Vincent H. Pala.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday appointed senior Congress leaders Oscar Fernandez as chairman of the AICC’s screening committee to finalise candidates for Meghalaya, Mukul Wasnik for Tripura and Kumari Selja for Nagaland.
Other leaders, like Shakeel Ahmed Khan and Amitabh Chakravarty, are members of the screening committee for Tripura, Tamra Dhwaj Sahu, and Meenakshi Natarajan for Meghalaya and Gaurav Gogoi and Mausam Noor for Nagaland.
Pala said the party would like to see the AICC finalise the candidates by January 31.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma has applied for party tickets from two seats, his home constituency Ampati and Songsak, being held by National People’s Party MLA Nihim D. Shira.
Pala said the question of announcing late does not arise because other parties have not released the names of their candidates. “We have already told the probable candidates to work on the ground,” he said.