The cash strapped Congress party in Meghalaya today said that the party will not field candidates in five Assembly constituencies, where money is expected to take centre stage, during the 2023 Assembly elections.
Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president, Vincent H Pala during a block congress committee meeting held in Sutnga-Saipung said the party is yet to name its second list, but would field a total of 55 candidates in the upcoming polls.
“Out of 60 seats, we will put up 55 after examination of applicants,” Pala said, adding, “We will not put up candidates in five constituencies where money plays a major role like Khliehriat and Amlarem constituencies.”
The Congress had released its first list of 40 candidates for the upcoming Meghalaya elections. Twenty-six candidates are from Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills and 14 from Garo Hills.
Out of 40, only 10 (or 25 per cent) are former MLAs; the Congress currently has zero legislators in the Assembly after losing all through defections.
Pala exuded confidence that his party will clinch about 37 seats, out of which 23-24 are from the Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills and 14 from the Garo Hills.
The Congress won 21 seats in the last Assembly elections. However, a few of them died and some defected to other parties reducing the strength to just 17 MLAs.
However, last year 12 party MLAs switched over to the Trinamool Congress. The remaining five MLAs were suspended after they supported the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance. Two of them joined the ruling NPP and another joined the BJP.