Division in HSPDP over supporting PBM comes to light

Paul gets Fenela boost ahead of polls

HSPDP leader Fenela L Nonglait whispers as UDP candidate Paul Lyngdoh listens during a party election rally at Motphran in city on Monday. (ST)

SHILLONG: The division in HSPDP over supporting independent candidate PBM Basaiawmoit surfaced on Monday during the last public meeting of UDP nominee Paul Lyngdoh’s at Motphran in Shillong.

HSPDP leader Fenela L Nonglait attended the public meeting in support of Lyngdoh.

The HSPDP leader while speaking at the public meeting urged people to vote for Paul on April 9.

“We should understand that this is not an Assembly election. We are electing a representative who would represent us in the Lok Sabha,” Fenela said, adding, “We need to send somebody who is able to raise our issues at the national level.”

She said that the UDP candidate was the best candidate from among the candidates who are in the fray to raise the issues afflicting the people of the State.

“We will send Paul along with a strong hammer to knock on the doors of the Government at the Centre,” Fenela said.

Extending her support to the North East Regional Parties Forum (NERPF), of which UDP is part, she said: “We need a better and proper platform and a strong group to represent the State and the region at the Centre. The regional parties should work together as a combine force.”

According to her, a single person (any Independent) no matter how tall he was or no matter how loud his voice could be would not make any impact in 543-member Lok sabha.

Stating that the loudest noise made is silence, Fenila said there were many households which suffered in secret and their sufferings were not heard till today. “We need to come forward and we need to first build a strong wall to be able to build a gate.”

Stressing on the importance of the identity of indigenous people, she said there was a need to fight for inclusion of Khasi language in the Eighth schedule of the Constitution.

“The need of the hour is to look at the needs and not the wants in order to achieve the goals and aspiration of the indigenous tribal people of the region,” Fenela told the gathering.

She claimed that she had the blessing of HSPDP president Hoping Stone Lyngdoh to attend this meeting.

Her support to the UDP comes at a time when HSPDP vice president Ardent Basaiawmoit, also leader of All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA), which includes Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), has refused to support Paul’s candidature.

The reason put forth by the two parties (HSPDP & KHNAM) is that Paul doesn’t stand a chance to win the ensuing Lok Sabha polls from Shillong seat.

HSPDP general secretary Enbin K Raswai said that the partyhad no information about the decision of Fenela to attend the public of the UDP candidate.

“The decision of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the party to support Basaiawmoit still stands,” Raswai said.

He said that if she had gone to the meeting it was purely at her personal level.

“We would definitely take disciplinary action against Fenela for indulging in anti-party activities,” the HSPDP general secretary said.

HSPDP president Hoping Stone Lyngdoh said that he is not aware about the decision of Fenela to the meeting of UDP nominee.

“She had told me that she is not supporting the UDP nominee. She had made it clear that she is supporting the ideology of the NERPF from which UDP is apart, which is led by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who is the chairman,” Lyngdoh said.

The UDP president also said that the party decision to support Basaiawmoit still stood.