Bernard congratulates NPP
BJP candidate Bernard Marak

Shillong: 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.

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, a party spokesman said here.

Among those whose names featured in the list were BJP’s two sitting MLAs Sanbor Shullai and A L Hek who will contest from South Shillong and Pynthorukhrah constituencies in the city, he said.

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 spokesman said.

Marak had laid down arms in 2014 and disbanded the ANVC-B militant group. He had joined Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC), an armed militant group to carve out a separate state for Garo tribals.

Also Read | Meghalaya 2023: BJP announces list of 60 candidates

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