Six former chief ministers would be in fray for the ensuing assembly elections in Meghalaya.
Leading the list is incumbent Chief Minister DD Lapang, who will seek re-election from Nongpoh constituency, his stronghold since Meghalaya attained statehood in 1972.
Lapang, who started his life as a labourer and worked his way up to become Sub-Inspector of schools, got elected as an MLA from Nongpoh as an independent candidate. Later he joined the Congress and in 1992, he became the chief minister.
With instablilty, defections, splits and frequent toppling of governments marking the state's history, Lapang's stint as chief minister was fragmented into three phases i.e. 1992-93, 2003-06, 2007-08.
His prime contender would inevitably be NCP national general secretary and former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, who has veered the pitch well in the Garo hills region, particularly his constituency Tura.
The present Lok Sabha MP from Tura, Sangma was a Congress chief minister in 1998-2000. He rose in national politics after being elected as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, but of late has switched his attention to state politics.
He is the chief ministerial candidate of NCP, the single largest opposition party in the state.