NPP downplays battle by partners

SHILLONG: The National People’s Party (NPP), which is supporting the UDP candidate in Shella bypoll, is going all out to secure a win for its alliance partner even as other partners of the MDA, including the PDF and the BJP are contesting the elections.
It’s one friend fighting the other within the MDA coalition in the Shella bypoll as NPP and HSPDP supported UDP while the UDP is fighting against the MDA partners, the BJP and the PDF besides the opposition Congress and two independents.
“We are going all out to see that UDP wins the seat as a mark of respect for our late leader Dr Don who was the architect of MDA coalition,” said NPP state president, WR Kharlukhi.
Admitting that Shella bypoll is indeed a battle within the allies of the MDA and something that cannot be stopped, Kharlukhi said, “This coalition was stitched after the Assembly elections and not pre-election and so it is quite natural for our allies to contest wherever they see a winnability factor”.
“The concept of a common candidate is what we dream and want, but we cannot stop others,” he added.
He said, “Look at the results of the last election. Dr Don won the elections but PDF came second and lost by a very small margin, so it is only natural for PDF to think this is the best time for it to win the seat”.
To a query whether sympathy vote will work for the UDP, Kharlukhi said, “I do hope that sympathy factor will help the UDP, but looking at certain elections in Garo Hills it did not happen like that”.
On the verbal spat between two of its coalition partners — the BJP and the PDF — Kharlukhi said that it will only last till the battle for the Shella bypoll lasts.
“Shella is a battlefield for the BJP and the PDF, but when they come to Shillong it is a different matter. We will happily live as a coalition and complete our full tenure,” he said.
About the candidature of the UDP member Balajiedkupar Synrem, who is the son of late UDP leader, Donkupar Roy, Kharlukhi cited an example from England on how after the death of its Prime Minister when everything seemed to be ending, his son came and turned out to be one of the best Prime Ministers.
“When Pitt the elder died, everybody thought in England it is the end but when Pitt the younger — his son came, he turned out to be one of the best Prime Ministers that England had ever produced and this is what I believe of Shella,” he said.

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