Shillong: The state election committee of the United Democratic People (UDP) on Monday announced the second list of candidates for the ensuing 2023 Assembly elections.

UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh released the names of the two candidates.

While former BJP legislator John Leslee Sangma will be contesting from 51 South Tura, Dr Pilne A Sangma, a UDP member, will be contesting 50 North Tura in West Garo Hills

In 2018, Dr Pilne contested as an independent candidate from the Rangsakona constituency and lost to then Congress MLA Zenith Sangm by a margin of less than 1,000 votes.

Before 2018, she was an NPP member but was denied a ticket and chose to resign from the party.

UDP candidate John Leslee said, “I have joined the party because of its ideology to fight for the rights of the indigenous people. I resigned from the BJP because of my ideological differences with the party.”

On the 2023 Assembly polls, Pilne said she wanted to work for the uplift of women and children.

UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh said, “The party has so far announced the names of 34 candidates. We will release the third list of candidates soon, out of which five will be the sitting MLAs.”

“The people of the state are looking for a party that wants to address the issues of the state as well as matters related to the welfare of the state. We stand committed and we will try our best to fulfil the expectations of the people if we win the upcoming election,” Lyngdoh said.

He added that the party will try to reach out to the people and urge the electorates not to make a mistake again this time and to extend their support to the UDP.

Lyngdoh also expressed his happiness that this time they have a female candidate to contest the upcoming polls. “Dr Pilne Sangma has been able to fill that space and she has been selected not only because of the criteria of being a woman but also because of her capability,” said Lyngdoh.

Meanwhile, the UDP president also found it surprising that the coalition party National People’s Party (NPP) will not be fielding any candidate for the Mairang constituency, which happens to be the constituency of UDP chief Metbah Lyngdoh. 

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