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UDP chief asks voters to reject defector Danggo

Cong sees wind of change with Mukul campaign

MAWKYRWAT/SHILLONG: Turncoat Martin M Danggo is the “greatest” political sinner who had been led by temptation for civil sub-division, said UDP chief Donkupar Roy on Tuesday.
Addressing a gathering at Rangthong in Ranikor constituency, Roy, whose party is an ally in the coalition government, urged the public to reject “defection” and the defector in the upcoming by-poll.
“Defection of elected representatives is one of the greatest sins in politics. That is why the anti-defection law was brought to prevent elected representatives from joining another party but there is one loophole in that law as representatives can still join another party by resigning from the earlier one,” the Assembly speaker said.
Asserting that such by-poll after the resignation of an MLA does not happen anywhere in India except Meghalaya, Roy pointed out that it was the second time “we are facing this kind of by-election, first when Ampareen Lyngdoh resigned from the UDP and joined the Congress and this time when Danggo resigned from the Congress and joined the NPP”.
“But to the wise electorate, the law is not needed because they are the best judges. This is a test for the people of Ranikor, if you agree (with defection) and re-elect Danggo in the upcoming election, problems will again arise in the future but if you reject him, you reject defection and in the future public representatives will have to think twice before playing with the mandate of the people,” Roy said.
The NPP state leaders, during a rally on Monday, had eulogised Danggo for his “sacrifice” for the people of Ranikor.
But Roy, in a scathing attack, said Danggo’s move was not for the benefit of his people but for himself. The UDP chief drew a biblical analogy to describe the NPP candidate’s decision to switch allegiance.
“It seems that he has fallen to the temptation (jingpynshoi). I remember the story in the Bible in which Satan tells Jesus that if you follow me, all these will be yours,” Roy said, adding, “There should be a law in India that says, any representatives who resigned from their posts will have to wait for the full term (five years) to be able to contest again in the election.”
As he campaigned for UDP candidate Pius Marwein, Roy said he was disappointed over the influence of money power in state elections.
“HSPDP and UDP are the only regional parties since the statehood movement. However, over the years it seems that people tend to forget us because we are the poor parties. Before the election we were very strong but after it, we are always weak because we don’t have money,” he added.
The Ranikor battle will see a four-cornered contest with the Congress, UDP, PDF and NPP. The Congress is fielding a Garo candidate to divide Danggo’s vote base.
Talking to media persons in Shillong on Tuesday, Congress legislator HM Shangpliang said Mukul Sangma’s campaign in Ranikor this month yielded result.
Admitting that the morale of the Congress was low when Danggo left, Shangpliang said the leaders, including Mukul, “have worked very hard and they have gone to the last village in the constituency to campaign for the candidate (Jackiush Sangma)”.
Though the party is being seen as an underdog, the MLA was confident that it would put up a tough fight. “Many MLAs of the party are campaigning day in and night out in the constituency,” he said.

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