SHILLONG, JAN 16:
The United Democratic Party (UDP) – a coalition partner of the Congress led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA) government- kick-start its election campaign by taking a dig at the Congress and hitting it at its weakest point by saying that the national party is a “divided house” as it is always rife with “infighting among its leaders.”
UDP leaders Bindo M Lanong and Paul Lyngdoh inaugurating the party’s office for North Shillong constituency on Wednesday.
Claiming that unlike the national party, the UDP- the biggest regional party in the state- is one big united family as leaders do not bicker and fight among themselves.
Making the “unity” of the party as the unique selling points, UDP leaders’ deputy chief minister and party working president Bindo M Lanong, working president Paul Lyngdoh and minister JA Lyngdoh appealed to the voters to vote for the UDP candidates and give the party a majority in the 60-member Meghalaya assembly.
Inaugurating the party’s office for the North Shillong constituency (earlier Jaiaw) at Jaiaw Laitdom, Lanong even went to the extent of saying that he will take it as an “insult” if the Congress is voted back to power despite all the infighting in the party. Lyngdoh, on the other hand, said that said even after forty years of statehood if Meghalaya has to depend on a national party to run its government, then the people of the state do not deserve a state and the statehood movement of the political leaders was all in vain.
The UDP has fielded Bari Kharsati – a teacher and recipient of the National Teacher Award from North Shillong constituency to take on Congress nominee and former UDP minister Roshan Warjri.
Dwelling further on the “divided house” of the Congress party, Lanong claim that chief minister Mukul Sangma had revealed to him that there are as many as three contenders vying for the Congress ticket from the same house even as he quoted newspapers report wherein it was reported that Congress Lok Sabha MP Vincent Pala is putting his weight behind DD Lapang as he want to see that he becomes the next chief minister instead of Sangma.
As Lanong appealed to the voters to give the UDP the mandate to form the next government he predicted that if the Congress is voted back to power then the party again has to go to its high-command in Delhi at government expense to settle its leadership issue as there will be many aspirants to the post of the chief minister. Giving a proof of the infightings within the Congress, he cited the recent ticket allocation where there were more than one ticket aspirants from the same household.
Both Lanong and Lyndoh appealed to the North Shillong voters, especially the women, to give their votes to Kharsati. Lyngdoh said, “The representative you are going to elect must be worthy successor and must possess integrity, education, vision and more importantly the passion to serve the people, which Kharsati have.”
The UDP has announced 47 candidates for contesting in the February 23 election and is like to announce its final list on January 21, party source informed