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NONGSTOIN / JOWAI: The main contenders for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat have launched their respective poll campaigns, Vincent H Pala of Congress in Jowai and Paul Lyngdoh of UDP in Nongstoin.
Launching his campaign at Nongstoin market in a largely attended meeting on Saturday, Lyngdoh slammed the Hills State People Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) for refusing to support the UDP in the upcoming LS polls.
He said neither of the two parties – HSPDP and KHNAM – had the presence like the UDP in Khasi and Jaintia Hills. “So I’m not giving so much of credence to what they are saying,” he said.
“We have an understanding to work together in the KHADC and formed the ARPA consisting of three Regional parties HSPDP, UDP and KHNAM.
This will last for five years. But as we find out, in the coming LS polls KHNAM and HSPDP have refused to work together with UDP” Paul Lyngdoh said.
Lyngdoh pointed that Common People Front (CPF) candidate PBM Basaiawmoit was an independent candidate supported by HSPDP and KHNAM, and not their own party candidate. He also said that the UDP was the only regional party that was in fray in the parliamentary elections, and the earlier determination of HSPDP and KHNAM to support a common candidate had led to nowhere.
Paul pointed out in the public meeting that likeminded regional parties of the North East had formed the North Eastern Regional Parties Forum (NERPF) where they would work together.
“We are not alone but we are now a pack.” Paul added.
Paul also slammed Congress candidate Vincent H Pala for his performance during his tenure as an MP of Shillong seat where AICC president Sonia Gandhi had viewed the performance of Pala as a failure because of which he was dropped from the post of minister of state from the UPA-II ministry.
Beginning his campaign on Saturday at Jowai, his home constituency, Pala said voters should give him yet another chance so that he could ) complete all pending development schemes in the Shillong Lok Sabha area. He highlighted various development schemes sanctioned for the state in the past five years.
Some of the major schemes he highlight included the Shillong Bypass, the Improvement and upgradation of the Shillong- Guwahati Road and the Nongstoin to Tura Road, the railway project in Garo Hillls and the improvement and expansion of the Umroi Airport.
“I am for the people not for the rich, if I am elected again, I will try to serve the people more effectively in the next five years”, Pala said.