MDA seal on Mawthoh for Shillong; NPP from Tura

Ally BJP to go solo in both Lok Sabha seats

SHILLONG: Ending all speculation, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) on Monday finally decided to field former UDP MLA and leader Jemino Mawthoh as the common candidate from Shillong parliamentary seat while NPP will contest from Tura although the party is yet to decide on the candidate.
However, sources said former MP and Union Minister Agatha Sangma could be NPP’s choice for Tura.
The decision to field Jemino was taken at a meeting of the MDA here which was attended by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, top leaders of parties of the ruling alliance barring BJP and presidents of the different political parties supporting the government.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, UDP president Donkupar Roy asserted the alliance has unanimously decided that Jemino Mawthoh will be the common candidate of the MDA and he will contest the election on the party symbol.
“From today, we are preparing for the elections and we are determined to win both Shillong and Tura seats,” he said.
As for the Tura seat, he said that the UDP will support the NPP candidate who will be the MDA common candidate.
However, the BJP, which is an ally of the MDA, has decided to go solo and will field its own candidate, Roy said. He said regional parties first think of regional interests, but national parties first think of national interests.
“If we, as regional parties, combine together, nobody in this area will contest against us and we are 100 per cent sure of winning both the seats since we have more MLAs, MDCs and party workers,” Roy added.
On being asked if the time is too short for the polls, he said that the alliance is going to move very fast and with MDC elections just getting over, the party workers are already in election mode.
On the other hand, the NPP is yet to decide on its candidate for the Tura seat.
NPP state president WR Kharlukhi said the MDA will go all out to wipe out the Congress from Meghalaya and the recent MDC elections results indicate that the regional parties will perform well in the Lok Sabha polls, too.
Meanwhile, with the Election Commission of India announcing the date for the parliamentary poll in the state, hectic political preparations have begun.
Earlier, the HSPDP’s proposed candidate, Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar, said that apart from BJP, which is going to contest on its own, all other partners of the MDA would support the common candidates. “I will extend hundred per cent cooperation to the MDA to work together and support whichever candidate they decide on,” he said
Meanwhile, opposition Congress spokesperson Zenith Sangma said that the date for the poll in the state is as anticipated by the party and it is prepared to face challenges and is confident to take on other parties and win the elections.
Acknowledging that this election would be a tough one, Sangma, however, said the Congress is ready with strategies in place.

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