Shillong: Returning Officer (RO) of Shillong parliamentary seat Abhishek Bhagotia has declared THS Bonney as a valid candidate and he will be contesting as an Independent instead of the political party that he filed as a nominee.
THS Bonney has filed his nomination as a KHNAM candidate for the Shillong seat. His nomination was contested by the Pyndapbor Saiborne-led faction of the KHNAM that made the RO to withhold his papers even on the day of scrutiny. Bonney who is fielded by the Adelberth Nongrum faction of the KHNAM made a submission on Wednesday and the acceptance of his papers were at stake in view of the orders given by the High Court to the rival faction.
However, Bhagotia told newsmen that after examination of the papers, we have come to an understanding that he is able to contest as an Independent candidate. Wednesday was the day of scrutiny and Thursday was the last date of withdrawal and Bonney accepted that he can be considered as an Independent candidate.
The RO said the decision is on the basis of the Election Commission of India norms. Bonney has chosen the ‘key’ as his symbol.
The RO’s decision on Thursday came as a body blow to the Adelberth Nongrum faction of the KHNAM after months of assertion that it is the rightful owner of the party and the symbol. The Pyndapbor Saiborne faction, which has earlier cited the March 20th 2019 High Court verdict as a moral victory, should be jubiliated with the RO’s decision.
Meanwhile, the CPI nominee, Justice Kharbasanti withdrew from the race on Thursday while Kennedy Khyriem, considered as a stand-by candidate of the Congress, withdrew on Wednesday. There are six contenders in the fray for the Shillong seat.
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