‘Factor in stakeholders for solution to border issues’
SHILLONG, Aug 11: The United Democratic Party (UDP) on Thursday said the state government should continue to find a solution to the long-pending interstate boundary issue but should take all stakeholders on board before taking any decision.
“They should try to find a solution for all the disputed places but all the stakeholders should be taken into confidence first,” party chief Metbah Lyngdoh said while referring to the second phase of the boundary talks slated to begin after the Independence Day celebration.
“Be it the border or any other issue concerning the people of the state, the stakeholders are a part and parcel,” he said.
On the opposition Trinamool Congress and Congress often criticising the UDP for being a mute spectator on issues concerning the people, Lyngdoh said: “We have not been shying away from any kind of responsibility we have been entrusted with. We also raise our concerns on any issue that comes before us.”
He insisted the UDP has been issuing statements on crucial issues from time to time.
“Some people are saying that the UDP is silent. We are in the government and the election is very near. So, people will start blaming for political mileage,” he said.
Opposition leader Mukul M. Sangma had alleged that the UDP, claiming to be a party of the ‘Jaitbynriew’ during elections, has been mum on the interstate boundary issue despite people suffering because of the memorandum of understanding between the two states.
Relocation of Harijan Colony
Speaking on the relocation of residents from Harijan Colony at Them Iew Mawlong, Lyngdoh maintained that the state government will have to microscopically examine all details regarding the proposal to shift the residents to Mawbah and the opposition thereafter so that the issue is sorted out once and for all.
Lyngdoh was reacting to the opposition of West Shillong MLA Mohendro Rapsang and the Dorbar Shnong of Mawbah to the idea of relocating the Harijan Colony residents to a plot of land behind RP Chest (TB) Hospital in Mawbah.
It may be mentioned that the Urban Affairs department is on the job to identify more locations for shifting the residents following which the relocation blueprint will be prepared.
No discussion on pre-poll pact with NPP
A day after NPP national vice president Prestone Tynsong announced that his party would form the government in 2023 on its own, the UDP president said the two parties had not held any discussion to this effect.
“We had gone with a pre-election arrangement with HSPDP in 2018 election and this time the Regional Democratic Alliance is still intact. So we will look into that,” Lyngdoh said.
When pointed out that an HSPDP MLA’s decision to contest from the UDP might affect the RDA, he said, “I don’t have anything to say on that but what I can say is that the UDP and the HSPDP are under the banner of the RDA till the end of the term.”
On the Opposition TMC’s allegations that the NPP and the UDP are just putting up a ‘mock fight’, Lyngdoh said, “People are free to talk whatever they want but the UDP ready to fight the 2023 elections.”
Lyngdoh also dismissed the TMC as a challenge, saying, “The UDP is ready to fight with anyone in any constituency. We have started to prepare in advance so that our candidates and the organisation are ready to fight any candidate from any political party.”