The BJP on Thursday announced Bernard N Marak, its state unit vice-president and a former militant leader, as its official candidate against Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma in South Tura constituency.
The saffron party will contest all the 60 seats in the Meghalaya assembly and announced names of all its candidates on Thursday. a party spokesperson said here.
It had last month decided to break away from the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance led by Conrad Sangma and go it alone in the state election.
Bernard Marak, known to be vocal against Conrad Sangma, was last year arrested and charged with immoral trafficking and running a brothel in his farmhouse at Tura. He had joined Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC), an armed militant group, to carve out a separate state for Garo tribals. However, he laid down arms in 2014 and disbanded his group, the ANVC (B). He is also a member of the district council of Tura. Among those whose names featured in the BJP candidates’ list were the party’s two sitting MLAs – Sanbor Shullai and A L Hek who will contest from South Shillong and Pynthorukhrah constituencies in the city, the spokesperson said.
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Names of former speakers E D Marak of Congress and Martin Danggo of the NPP found place in the list from Kharkutta and Ranikor respectively.
Sitting MLAs who quit other parties in the past few months and joined BJP were also accommodated in the list. Among them are H M Shangpliang, Ferlin Sangma, Benedict Marak and Samuel M Sangma who will contesting from Mawsynram, Selsella, Raksamgre and Baghmara constituencies respectively.
State BJP president Ernest Mawrie who unsuccessfully contested from Nongthymmai constituency in 2018 will contest from West Shillong constituency. M H Kharkrang, the party spokesperson, will contest from North Shillong constituency, according to the party.
The party also fielded seven women candidates, including former NPP MLA Ferlin Sangma, the spokesperson added.