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Like father, like sons and now like daughter

india Updated: Apr 21, 2008 15:03 IST

The father is a nine time MP and two time MLA. Both his sons made it to the state assembly this time, with one billed as "one of the most powerful" ministers of the Meghalaya cabinet. Now, it is the turn of the daughter to follow their footsteps.

NCP leader PA Sangma's daughter Agatha Kongkal Sangma will, in all likelihood, contest from her father's Tura Parliamentary constituency of Meghalaya, where by-polls are slated for May 22, party sources said.

Sangma had resigned from the seat after being elected as an MLA, necessitating the by-poll. NCP Meghalaya unit president W R Kharluki said the final decision on the Tura candidate will be taken this evening, even as he hinted that Agatha is the frontrunner, who, being a Sangma sibling, will be able to ride on his father's image and wrest the seat at ease.

PA Sangma has never lost from the Tura Parliamentary seat ever since he contested in 1977, even though he changed party affiliation from Congress to Trinamool Congress and then to NCP.

A law graduate registered with the Delhi Bar Council, Agatha has a string of degrees to her name, including a Masters in Environmental Management from School of Geography, Nottingham University, UK.

Kharluki said she would be a consensus candidate of the ruling Meghalaya Progressive Alliance, which comprise the UDP, KHNAM, HSPDP, besides the NCP and BJP. Agatha will be pitted against the Congress nominee.

Among the names doing rounds in the Congress camp are -- Mukul Sangma, Billykid Sangma, Zenith Sangma and Deborah Marak -- former state ministers. Except for Mukul, the rest three had lost the recently-concluded assembly elections. Billykid was defeated by P A Sangma.

Party sources indicated that either Mukul or Billykid are frontrunners, both said to have a strong support in the Garo belt.

It may be mentioned here that the former Lok Sabha speaker's two sons, Conrad and James have also won the recently-concluded assembly elections, making their maiden entry to the state assembly.

A cabinet minister, Conrad is in charge of Finance, Tourism, Power and a couple of other departments, while James is the Parliamentary Secretary for Home.