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PDF MDC Grace Kharpuri springs surprise in eleventh hour

SHILLONG: People’s Democratic Front (PDF) MDC, Grace Mary Kharpuri sprang a surprise on Wednesday when she decided to file nomination for the post of Chief Executive Member (CEM) of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) from People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA).

Kharpuri was part of the new alliance Khasi Hills Democratic Alliance (KHDA) in which the 17 MDCs decided to nominate NPP MDC HS Shylla as the consensus candidate of the alliance for the post of CEM.

Political drama was witnessed at KHADC again on Wednesday when Kharpuri informed the MDCs who were on their way to the Secretary’s room that she will also file nomination.

“It is very surprising as yesterday we made a decision about the nomination and she was also one amongst the 17 MDCs present at the meeting. We thought she was supporting the KHDA but on reaching the room of the Secretary (of KHADC) to file the nomination, we were surprised by her decision to file the nomination,” Shylla told reporters after filing nomination.

He added that there is a need to be united in the KHDA as the KHADC is confronted with issues of highhandedness of the previous Executive Committee (EC) which needs to be discussed.

Speaking about the procedure followed by KHDA to elect a member to be nominated as CEM, secretary of KHDA and UDP MDC, Antonio said the 17 MDCs decided to give an open offer to the MDCs to project them as the new CEM instead of using secret ballot.

“There was a proposal to resort to secret ballot for nomination to the CEM’s post. Ultimately, we settled for  the decision to give an open offer to whoever wants to project himself as the CEM and it should not be from the party or from the members as it will lead to division,” he said.

In the open offer, former CEMs Shylla and HSPDP MDC Manstudy Nongrem offered themselves for the post while UDP MDCs Antonio War and Teinwell Dkhar also came forward.

War said discussions proceeded regarding the four MDCs in which they settled only for one and that everyone was given a chance to propose their name for the post of the CEM. “We did not realise that Grace will file nomination from PDA,” he added.

Echoing War, Shylla said, “ There was no response from Grace to project herself as  the CEM when members were given a chance to do so.”

Criticizing the Congress for extending their support on Tuesday but withdrew their support on Wednesday, War asserted that they are looking only for benefits.

With Kharpuri filing her nomination, the KHDA MDCs are reduced to 16 while Kharpuri also has the support of Congress. Meanwhile, Kharpuri told reporters she decided to file for nomination “fearing” that the next EC will not be stable after the CEM is elected.

“Before selecting the CEM at the meeting, I have seen the division between UDP and NPP. There were 2-3 contenders for the post of CEM even though we decided to come out with a consensus leader from the KHDA,” she said adding that she is sure to get the required numbers.

 

 

 

 

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