Shillong: A day after it announced support to National People's Party (NPP) candidate Agatha K. Sangma in the Tura Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP on Sunday decided to field Rikman G. Momin as its candidate against the two-time MP.
With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) declaring its candidate, Tura will witnessed a triangular contest with former Chief Minister Mukul Sangma of the Congress throwing his hat in the electoral battle.
Momin, who unsuccessfully contested the 2018 Meghalaya assembly elections from Rongjeng constituency, had come a distant seventh, polling 1,474 votes.
On Saturday, State BJP President Shibun Lyngdoh had told IANS that his party has "decided to support the NPP candidate in Tura parliamentary constituency since the party leadership has decided not to field a candidate".
Lyngdoh's statement came after the BJP Central Election Committee on Saturday announced the name of sitting BJP legislator, Sanbor Shullai as its candidate for Shillong Parliamentary constituency.
However, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli expressed ignorance of Lyngdoh's statement.
"I am not aware of the state President's statement. He may have been expressing his point of view.
"In our party only the Central Election Committee takes a final call on whether to contest a seat or not. Also when a seat is to be announced," he said.
Agatha Sangma, 38, who is the younger sister of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Sangma, was elected twice to the Lok Sabha from Tura and served as a minister in the UPA-II government.
Sangma is being also backed by the People's Democratic Front, the Hill State People's Democratic Party, and Nationalist Congress Party which are also part of the ruling coalition. However, the BJP, which is also part of the coalition, had decided to contest both the state's two constituencies on its own.
The Garo National Council which does not have member in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly have also extended its support to Sangma.