UDP rally: Time for regional wave to drown natl forces

SHILLONG: The UDP rally, also attended by its ally HSPDP, on Thursday called for installing a government led by the regional alliance ousting the national parties in the Assembly polls.
It is time that voters in Meghalaya show national parties the door and empower regional forces which understand the ground reality, UDP working president Paul Lyngdoh said at the rally.
Lyngdoh, who is the party’s candidate from West Shillong, said before Meghalaya turns 50, the keys to rule the state should be snatched from national parties because “the state-level leaders often turn to Delhi for advice on the administration here”.
The regional party, which has forged an alliance with HSPDP and the Garo National Council, hopes to form a successful local alliance that was hitherto unseen in the state.
At the rally at Malki playground, which was attended by thousands of supporters from different parts of the state, UDP’s salvo not only targeted the “cancerous” Congress but also blasted “communal” BJP.
While Lyngdoh denounced the Congress-led government as the worst for the party’s toxic mix of crime and cash, senior leader Bindo Lanong pointing out the anti-Christian incidents in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
“BJP has to go from India as it does not respect the Constitution. It will break the unity of the country. But (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and BJP cannot break the unity of the country,” he said.
UDP general secretary and the party’s candidate from Nongthymmai Jemino Mawthoh said, “The state has failed in all aspects. (Chief Minister) Mukul Sangma had said in another 6-7 years the state would contribute to national development but we can see what has happened in these seven years.”
Questioning Sangma’s tall claims, Mawthoh said the state’s finances were drying up and there was no sign of development.
“Other states like Sikkim and Tripura are far ahead of Meghalaya which shows we have failed as a state. In the state, we see wealth without work, politics without principle, law without justice,” he added.
Speaking of other political parties, Mawthoh said, “We don’t know whether these political parties have strong principles or not. Some politicians even leap from one party to the other.”
The MLA urged the electorate not to indulge in vote-for-money politics. Lanong echoed his view saying voters should choose such representatives who will flag their problems on the floor of the Assembly.
‘Misuse of fund’
More criticisms were in store for the Congress as HSPDP chief Ardent M Basaiawmoit alleged that the party was wooing the electorate with Rs 5,000 by misusing the government fund from the Meghalaya Livestock Mission.
“They (the Congress) are doing it before the election. We have to fight against money power,” he said and asked voters to give the regional alliance of UDP-HSPDP a chance.
Pointing to the National People’s Party (NPP), Basaiawmoit said, “I asked people about NPP in Garo Hills and they said that it cannot be trusted as the party is an ally of BJP at the Centre and in Manipur.”
He slammed the Congress defectors by arguing that they could have supported the no-confidence motion passed against the government but chose to quit the party only months away from the election.
Basaiawmoit also took out a video of Congress defector and current NPP member Prestone Tynsong and kept it near the microphone to make people hear what the former Congress leader had to say.
Referring to the video, he said, “He (Tynsong) said to Mukul, ‘you are a great leader’.”
During the inauguration of the Pynursla Civil Sub-Division last year, Tynsong had lauded the achievements of Sangma while addressing the Pynursla crowd.
Candidate from North Tura Utpal Arengh slammed NPP for being partisan and practising nepotism and expressed confidence that UDP in Garo Hills will win 5-8 seats.
Also speaking at the UDP rally was principal of Sunrise School Chandan Das who appealed to non-tribal voters to choose UDP.
“Outside parties cannot take care of the aspirations of the people here so the best bet are regional parties,” Das said, adding that genuine non-tribals have thrived in West Shillong and Nongthymmai.
Introducing potential leaders
UDP chief Donkupar Roy introduced the 34 candidates who are all set to contest the Assembly elections.
Giving a brief speech, Roy said, “Among the 34 candidates, there are seven MLAs and we are hopeful that all the seven will win.”
He appealed to the supporters to work hard for the party to ensure electoral success in the coming Assembly elections in February.
Roy informed that HSPDP has till date announced 13 candidates while GNC has announced five.

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