CM’s break at Maha MLAs’ ‘hideout’ raises eyebrows

MDA allies, suspended Congress legislators to support NDA’s presidential nominee

NEW DELHI/GUWAHATI/SHILLONG, June 23: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s brief stopover at Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati on his way to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport has raised eyebrows with questions being raised about the actual intent of the break.
Sangma was on his way to New Delhi to sign the nomination papers of NDA presidential nominee Draupadi Murmu when he decided to take a brief halt at the hotel which has become the centre of attraction after a group of ‘rebel’ Shiv Sena and Independent MLAs from Maharashtra checked in on Wednesday morning.
It is not clear whether Conrad met the Shiv Sena MLAs during his visit to the hotel.
The CM denied that his visit to the hotel was a political one.
Asked about the purpose of his visit at a venue which has been the ‘epicentre of Maharashtra politics since Wednesday’, Sangma said he had dropped by for a cup of tea.
“I have no comment….I am en route to Delhi…so have come here only for a cup of tea,” he told media persons at the hotel.
Conrad reached the national capital on Thursday night and will return to Shillong on Friday after signing the nomination papers, party sources said here.
The Conrad-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance has announced its support to Murmu’s candidature, being a tribal candidate although a final decision in this regard will be taken at a meeting of the coalition partners.
Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Thursday said the chairman of the MDA (Conrad) will call a meeting of all the allies. “Filing of nomination will be done tomorrow and voting is still far away. We have time and we will let you know about the allies’ stand at an appropriate time,” he said.
Suspended Congress leader, Ampareen Lyngdoh said personally she was in favour of supporting the woman candidate but as far as the other MLAs are concerned, they have to meet a take a call.
BJP state president Ernest Mawrie said, “A great opportunity has been provided to the tribals with the nomination of a tribal woman to the office of the President.
The five-year term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 24 and the Election Commission has fixed July 18 as the date of polling. Counting of votes will take place on July 21.

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