Shillong, Jan 23 (IANS) Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday said that the Congress party is likely to announce the list of candidates for the February 27 elections to the 60 member Meghalaya assembly before Republic Day.
"The State Congress has conveyed its desire to the central leadership to announce the list of candidates before the Republic Day," the veteran Congress leader said after the Pradesh Election Committee and Manifesto Committee meeting.
State Congress President Celestine Lyngdoh who heads the Pradesh Election Committee, chaired the day-long meeting, which was attended by Congress General Secretary in-charge Meghalaya C.P.Joshi, Lok Sabha member Vincent H. Pala and other senior Congress leaders.
"The party at the state level had completed the exercise and the candidates had been more or less frozen and the names would now be presented before the Central Screening Committee and the same will be announced with the approval of the Congress President (Rahul Gandhi)," Sangma told journalists.
Moreover, the Congress leader informed that the Election Committee will finalise the names of the candidates in one or two constituencies within the next 24 to 48 hours.
On Monday, Gandhi appointed senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes as chairman of the AICC's screening committee to finalise candidates for Meghalaya.
Fernandes will be assisted by his fellow party leaders Tamra Dhwaj Sahu and Meenakshi Natarajan.
On the other hand, senior Congress party leader Vincent H. Pala said that as many as 90 people have applied for party tickets to contest the assembly elections, including Chief Minister Mukul Sangma who had applied from Ampati and Songsak assembly constituencies.
Sangma had won five consecutive times from Ampati in South West Garo Hills district, while Songsak assembly in East Garo Hills is presently represented by Nihim D. Shira of the National People's Party.
However, Pala said that the screening committee will take a final call on whether the Chief Minister will be contesting from two seats.