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Time is short to review decision, says Donkupar

UDP goes ahead with Paul

UDP working president Paul Lyngdoh in discussion with some party leaders ahead of Tuesday's meeting. (ST)
UDP working president Paul Lyngdoh in discussion with some party leaders ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. (ST)

SHILLONG: The UDP Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Tuesday decided to stick to its decision of fielding its working president Paul Lyngdoh from the Shillong seat in April 9 Lok Sabha election.

With the two other regional parties of Shillong, HSPDP and KHNAM, already refusing to support Lyngdoh’s candidature, this could mean the end of the effort of opposition parties to offer to Congress a straight contest in the prestigious Shillong seat, observers said.

HSPDP and KHNAM are ready to support UDP working president Bindo Mathew Lanong or UDP’s Nongthymmai legislator Jemino Mawthoh as the candidate for the Shillong seat. Earlier, HSPDP and KHNAM had given a written assurance to support People’s Candidate Forum (PCF) nominee Rev PBM Basiawmoit. Taking to newsmen after the meeting, UDP president Dr Donkupar Roy said that the CEC had dwelt at length to the reply of the HSPDP and KHNAM, rejecting Lyngdoh’s candidature. “During the meeting, there was a consensus among the leaders they do not have a better candidate than Lyngdoh. It is also difficult for the party to review its decision since it has already decided to field its working president,” Dr Roy said. With the filing of nominations scheduled to start in a short while, there may be little time left now for the three regional parties to negotiate and come to an understanding, but the UDP president still refused to admit that the efforts of UDP to have a common candidate to take on Congress from the Shillong seat have failed. Roy said he was still hopeful that HSPDP and KHNAM would still back the UDP nominee. “We would still appeal to both the parties to support Lyngdoh’s candidature,” Dr Roy said.

“They have not cited any other reason for rejecting Lyngdoh’s candidature,” UDP working president said, though HSPDP and KHNAM had said that according to their assessment Lyngdoh had a slender chance of winning in Shillong. “As per our assessment in the various constituencies in Khasi and Jaintia Hill, he (Lyngdoh) has a very great chance to win. It is for this reason we have put him as the candidate.”

He said that the voting pattern in the recent district council election was not all an indication for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. “People vote differently for every election,” the UDP president said.

In the KHADC poll, HSPDP won more seats than UDP. Asked if the failure of the three regional parties to see eye-to-eye in the Lok Sabha polls would have an impact on alliance in the KHADC, Dr Roy said that UDP was committed to see that All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA) remained in seat for the next five years. “We would to see ARPA in the KHADC last for the full term,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, Nongthymmai legislator Jemino Mawthoh said that he was thankful to HSPDP and KHNAM for projecting his name as the candidate.

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