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Hitler and Frankenstein fight it out in Indian state elections

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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 03:11 PM
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Hitler and Frankenstein fight it out in Indian state elections
SHILLONG, India, Feb 24, 2008 (AFP) - When politician Adolf Lu Hitler-Marak stands for election in an Indian hill state next month, even he may have a tough time standing out in a field of the most unusually named candidates.

Politician and school teacher Frankenstein Momin is also hoping not to scare away the voters in Meghalaya, especially when faced with competition from more benign-sounding candidates such as Hilarious Pochen and Billykid Sangma.

The state in India's remote northeast goes to the polls on March 3, with more than 331 candidates jostling for around 60 seats in the assembly in the state capital Shillong.

Looking for re-election in his seat is Zenith Sangma, and also trying to outshine their rivals are Celestine Lyngdoh, Starfing Jove Langpen Pdahkasiej, Edstar Lyngdoh Nongbri and Moonlight Pariat.

Romeo Phira Rani and Darling Wavel Lamare are also busy trying to seduce the electorate, while Bison Paslen is locking horns with his rivals in Sutgna Shangpung constituency.

Forward Lyngdoh Mawlong is leading the charge in his constituency, while Admiral K Sangma is also setting sail for battle -- as are H. Britainwar Dan and Bombersingh.

Meghalaya is one of three northeastern Indian states voting over the next fortnight.

With a population of 2.3 million, the state is a predominantly Christian area with Khasi as the main language.

English is spoken, but not very fluently -- so people often name their children after words and famous people they have little familiarity with or understanding about.

"Often they dont know the background of the names. They get attracted to exquisite names," said the conservatively named David Reid Syiemlieh, a professor of history at the North Eastern Hill University in Shillong.

Hitler-Marak -- a stocky, balding and moustached figure -- said his parents probably had no idea the name was a big no-no.

"Maybe my parents liked the name. But I am not a dictator," he once told AFP. "My parents did not know who Hitler was."

In any case, the voters do not seem to mind -- Hitler-Marak has been elected to public office before and has served as a state forestry minister, while Frankenstein Momin is a former state education minister.

"It doesn't matter to us," said local journalist Geoffrey Kharkongor.

"Parents may christen their children funny names, but as long as the candidates perform their duties, we have no problem."

And there is a serious side to all this because the elections in Meghalaya and the other two northeastern states will be closely watched as an indicator of national trends.

India's federal ruling Congress party currently leads the coalition government in Meghalaya -- which means the "home of the clouds."


http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read/132667
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-24-08 03:14 PM
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1. Sheesh! One of those bizarro episodes that seem to occur with regularity
anymore.
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