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UDP leadership mum on ‘quit MDA’ murmurs

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SHILLONG, July 3: The United Democratic Party (UDP) leadership is maintaining a stoic silence on reported internal murmurs that the party will pull out from the National People’s Party-led ruling MDA coalition.
The UDP top brass – from president Metbah Lyngdoh to general secretary Jemino Mawthoh and other working presidents – is not communicating anything on the issue.
Calls made to them mostly went unanswered. When they spoke, they refused to talk on the subject on one pretext or another.
Earlier, UDP insiders had stated that party leaders, unhappy over the party’s Lok Sabha election debacle in the Shillong seat where it finished fourth, have now begun to quietly speak about severing ties with the NPP and the MDA.
They believe that the voters rejected the UDP in the polls due to its association with the MDA government. They expressed such views during a recent meeting which was convened to analyse why the party suffered defeat even after having MLAs in 12 of the 36 Assembly segments falling under the Shillong Lok Sabha seat.
The UDP insiders said the leaders felt there were several negative developments against the government and the Voice of the People Party had managed to cash in on the public anger. They said there were suggestions from some leaders to withdraw the UDP’s support to the government.
Some UDP legislators, however, expressed ignorance. They said the matter was never discussed in the party.
Stating that some leaders of the party many have harboured such thoughts after the party’s defeat in the polls, a UDP MLA, who sought anonymity, said, “None of the elected representatives from the party knows about it or has discussed it. This means it is just a speculation.”
The MLA, however, admitted that some leaders of the party were unhappy with the coalition for various reasons but no demand was raised for severing ties with the NPP.
Post-Assembly election of last year, the UDP had huddled with the VPP, Congress, HSPDP and other parties to form an alliance without the NPP. This, however, did not materialise as the two HSPDP MLAs had wasted no time in extending their support to the NPP.
The aftermath was clearly visible. The UDP president, who once held the post of the Assembly Speaker, was denied any position.

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