Party gets shot in the arms; IND quits ARPA

Congress going  all out to form EC

KHADC affairs

SHILLONG: The Congress may be five short of the magic figure of 15 required to form the Executive Committee in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), but it is still hopeful of forming the Committee.

With only 10 seats in its kitty in the KHADC and firm support from the lone NCP MDC, the Congress’ hope seems to be bordering on optimism, but it has received a shot in the arms as Independent MDC from Mawhati James Sylliang decided to withdraw his support from the HSPDP-led All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA).

The former HNLC member (Sylliang) had expected the post of an Executive Member (EM) by supporting ARPA. But in the absence of any assurance by ARPA on this count, Sylliang gave his letter of withdrawal of support to the chairman of the alliance Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit on Saturday.

Congress leaders are understood to be engaged in hectic parleys and the party is planning to put up a candidate for the post of Chairman. The election of the Chairman of KHADC will be held on March 6.

As of now, Congress has the assured support of the lone NCP MDC Sanbor Shullai in the KHADC.

Congress Parliamentary Party leader P.N. Syiem said on Sunday that they will form a coalition with the support of the lone NCP member and a member to be nominated by the Government.

When reminded that regional parties are determined to form the next EC in KHADC, Syiem said, “They may be determined. But nobody can predict the mind of the individuals as there is no anti defection law in the Council.”

In the elections held for the 29-member House, Congress got 10 seats while the opposition regional parties secured 17 seats (HSPDP 7, UDP 6 and KHNAM 4). The Government will nominate a member to make it a 30-member House.

Though the regional parties have formed a coalition – All Regional Parties Alliance (ARPA) – to form the new Executive Committee led by HSPDP member Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, the Congress seems to be in no mood to sit in the opposition.

Syiem, a former Chief Executive Member of KHADC, said that they will make efforts to get the support from the members of the regional parties. According to Syiem, once Congress secures to get the post of the Chairman, the matter would be easy for the party to form the next EC.

“We have also approached the individual MDCs of the regional parties to support us to form the next EC,” Syiem said. “After all Congress, with the support of the regional parties, had provided stability in the past five years,” he added.

Sylliang on Sunday denied that his withdrawal of support to ARPA had anything to do with the alliance not offering him the post of an EM in the Executive Committee.

“After the meeting held at UDP president Dr. Donkupar Roy’s residence on Friday last, they (ARPA) had not called me back since they already have the requisite number to form the EC,” the former HNLC member said.

After a meeting with his supporters on Sunday, he said that the general feeling was that it was useless to support the Alliance which did not recognize their MDC whom they had elected. “It would be better for me to join the Congress which would be sitting in the opposition,” Sylliang said.

Sources, however, maintained that Sylliang was disappointed since the regional parties had not offered him the post of an EM. “During the meeting of the alliance, it was decided that the posts of EMs would be equally shared between the three regional parties (HSPDP, UDP and KHNAM),” the sources said.

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