Exodus in Mawryngkneng does not worry Cong candidate

Shillong, Oct 24: The Congress’s candidate in Mawryngkneng, Highlander Kharmalki, has said his prospect of winning the bypoll has not been affected by an iota after the exodus of a local party leader and his supporters.

To a query, Kharmalki, a former civil engineer, said the exodus “is helpful”.

Norbert Marboh and his supporters quit the Congress earlier this month after he was denied ticket for the bypoll. Marboh is contesting as an independent candidate.

“He did not join the NPP or other party. It (the exodus) does not affect my prospects. In fact, it will help me,” said Kharmalki at his residence in Mawryngkneng on Saturday after completing the poll campaign in the marketplace.

Talking about money power in elections in the state, Kharmalki said the opponent (NPP) may use such means but “not from our side”.

Earlier, Congress MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said there were allegations of money power and the State Election Commission should tighten its vigilance to stop illegal practices before the byelection.

The Congress won the Mawryngkneng seat four consecutive times, the last time in 2018 being won by David Nongrum, who died in February at the age of 42.

Lyngdoh said people in the constituency are not only fond of Nongrum but have “high respect” for Pyngrope.

Kharmalki too agreed that the “sympathy factor” will play an important role in the October 30 byelection.

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