Shillong: Meghalaya Congress MLA PT Sawkmie on Wednesday said sympathy factor would be a big challenge for them to defeat United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who is contesting from Mawphlang constituency following the demise of his father SK Sunn.

Sawkmie added that even though National People’s Party (NPP) has the resources, the ground reality was that people will not favour the NPP for its “failure in the past years”. Sawkmie, however, said despite the challenges, the party would win all the three constituencies where by-polls are scheduled later this month.

The Congress chief whip is currently campaigning rigorously from Mawphlang constituency for the party’ candidate. He also the constituency will see triangular contest between the Congress, NPP and UDP.

He said Congress candidate Kennedy Khyriem, with his experience, can bring in a lot of development for Mawphlang constituency, while asserting that the party would leave no stone unturned to ensure his victory.

Khyriem was a former MLA, while the NPP is fielding Lamphrang Blah, a sitting Member of District Council (MDC) and a known face since he has been a four time MDC. The UDP has fielded footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh.

Asked about the issues that they were focusing on, Sawkmie said development wasthe main issue.

“When Kennedy was an MLA, he had worked hard for the overall development of the constituency and also had a close relationship with the people. Poor people also benefited a lot from the schemes in place. If he (Kennedy) wins, he can do much more. He can also voice the problems of the people in the Assembly since he is an experienced person,” said Sawkmie.

Reiterating that the sympathy factors was bound to play a major role in Mawphlang constituency, the Congress MLA admitted they can’t ignore it since the same was seen during Shella by-polls. Now in Eugeneson’s case, SK Sunn died recently, so people are still mourning his loss, Sawkmie added.

Having said that, he said, “Our candidate is experienced and an ex MLA; people are looking for development, so that might be an advantage.”

The by-polls to the three constituencies of Mawphlang, Mawryngkneng and Rajabala is scheduled to be held on October 30.

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