LS poll: HSPDP, KHNAM extend support to PBM


SHILLONG: HSPDP and KHNAM in a joint meeting on Friday decided to support Common People’s Front (CPF) candidate Rev. P.B.M. Basaiawmoit in his bid to win the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, but at the same time kept open the possibility of last minute adjustments with the UDP so that the regional parties can put up a common candidate against Congress.
“We have decided to support Rev. Basaiawmoit since we feel that he is the best possible candidate to contest this election,” HSPDP supremo Hoping Stone Lyngdoh and KHNAM president Pyndapborthiaw Saibon told newsmen after the joint meeting. They blamed UDP for the failure of the regional parties to put up a common candidate.
Though the two parties gave a written assurance to support Rev. Basaiawmoit, Saibon said they were still ready to review their support to the CPF candidate since they were keen to put up a common candidate to take on the Congress, provided UDP accepted their condition.
“We will review our stand and agree to support the UDP if they agreed to our proposal to field either Bindo Mathew Lanong or Jemino Mawthoh. But the UDP is rigid in its stand as it has decided to stick to its decision of fielding its working president Paul Lyngdoh,” the KHNAM president said.
If HSPDP and KHNAM were ready to sacrifice, there should be a matching response from UDP, the two leaders pointed out.
HSPDP and KHNAM seemed to be aggrieved that UDP had gone ahead and finalized the name of its candidate for the Shillong seat without consulting the steering committee of non-Congress forces which had been set up to work out the possibilities of a common candidate. Saibon said the steering committee which consisted of UDP, HSPDP, KHNAM, BJP and NPP was kept in the dark about the decision of UDP to field Lyngdoh. “The steering committee should have been taken into confidence before they decided on Lyngdoh’s candidature. It only shows that UDP is trying to impose its decision on other political parties. UDP should be solely blamed for the failure of the regional forces to put up a common candidate,” he said.
Denying that their refusal to support Lyngdoh’s candidature was a matter of personal ego, the KHNAM president said there were various reasons for it. They felt Lyngdoh’s popularity among the people had gone down as he had ignored issues which concerned the interest of the local indigenous population.
The collapse of the UDP-led MPA Government in 2009 was still fresh in the minds of the people, the KHNAM president said. “People know that the MPA Government had fallen because of Lyngdoh’s detraction to Congress,” Saibon said, adding Lyngdoh had also tried to dissolve KHNAM despite the opposition of majority of its members.
UDP’s performance in the recent district council poll was not up to the expectation, the KHNAM president pointed out. The party managed to win only one seat in East Khasi Hills, and lost the Jaiaw seat though Lyngdoh represented it as an MLA.
“One may recall that Lyngdoh won from Shillong West in the last assembly election by a narrow margin of 400 votes,” Saibon said.