Thursday, July 18, 2024
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UDP, HSPDP’s future under scanner after VPP’s victory

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SHILLONG, June 7: The Voice of the People Party’s decisive victory in the Shillong Parliamentary seat in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls has raised questions about the future of the two oldest regional forces in the state — United Democratic Party (UDP) and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP).
The VPP is slowly emerging as dominant regional force, at least in the Khasi Hills region, after its landslide victory from the Shillong seat.
The Regional Democratic Alliance’s (RDA) common candidate, Robertjune Kharjahrin managed to get only 44,563 votes from the 36 Assembly segments under Shillong. The UDP and HSPDP are the key members of the RDA.
Kharjahrin’s performance was dismal even in the Assembly constituencies held by the UDP and the HSPDP.
UDP president, Metbah Lyngdoh could not help Kharjahrin bag the highest number of votes from the Mairang constituency he has been representing since 2008.
The VPP’s Ricky AJ Syngkon got 16,981 votes in Mairang compared to Kharjahrin’s 8,124.
The RDA candidate performed worse in the six other constituencies across the Khasi Hills represented by the UDP in the Assembly. He got 802 votes in Mowkaiaw, 1,027 in Nongpoh, 1,972 in Sohiong, 1,123 in Mawphlang, 1,468 in Mawsynram, and 1,942 in Shella.
These constituencies are represented by Nujorki Sungoh, Mayralborn Syiem, Synshar Lyngdoh Thabah, Mathew Beyondstar Kurbah, Ollan Sing Suin, and Balajied Kupar Synrem respectively.
Kharjahrin also had a poor show in Mawthadraishan and Mawshynrut represented by the HSPDP’s Shakliar Warjri and Methodius Dkhar.
The RDA candidate got 840 votes in Mawthadraishan and 620 in Mawshynrut.
The two HSPDP legislators did not campaign for Kharjahrin, which was seen as a defiance of the party leadership who backed him.
Interestingly, Kharjahrin got fewer than 25 votes in many polling stations. This could indicate the diminishing faith of the people in the two oldest regional parties and the gradual acceptance of the VPP as the numero uno regional force in the state’s Khasi-Jaintia Hills region.
UDP accepts defeat
The UDP on Friday accepted their defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, stating that the people have spoken and they respect their mandate.
“We accept defeat gracefully and we would like to wish our two Parliamentarians representing Shillong and Tura constituency to articulate the voice and concerns of the people in parliament,” UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh said.
Asked what went wrong for the UDP, he said, “You have to look at the overall picture of the political situation in the entire country and Meghalaya and the issues that popped up. We also need to understand the pulse of the people.”
He also stated that people at the grassroots level look at things differently. “We need to understand what is in the minds of the people and address their concerns,” he said.
He added that the party would continue to work for the people of the state.

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