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UDP leaders divided over severing ties with NPP

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, July 4: The United Democratic Party appears to be divided over its association with the National People’s Party and the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.
While a section of the leaders, smarting from the Lok Sabha election debacle, wants the party to sever its ties with the National People’s Party, another section is in favour of continuing to be a part of the NPP-led MDA 2.0 government.
The latter group of leaders said the UDP had been winning up to eight Assembly seats before 2018. They pointed out that the party’s performance improved after becoming a part of the MDA government and it won 12 seats across the Khasi Hills in 2023.
“Even if some feel the UDP should part ways with the NPP, we should remain in the government for the sake of development,” a member of the pro-alliance group said.
“We must work for the people in our respective constituencies while remaining in the government,” he added.
On the UDP’s poor show in the Lok Sabha polls, he said it was in line with the anti-establishment trend and right-wing politics across the globe, including European countries. A few days ago, UDP leader Mayralborn Syiem said the party’s high command would decide whether or not to continue with the relationship with other political parties. “Wishing for a Khasi CM easy but a lot of calculations need to be done for it,” he said.
The party indicated it has kept dissent in check for now.
“We had an assessment meeting and zeroed in on many factors leading to the dismal performance of the RDA candidate in the Lok Sabha polls. Some were against our continuing in the MDA but there were more voices in favour of our remaining in the MDA,” Cabinet Minister and UDP working president, Paul Lyngdoh said on Thursday.
“The voice of the majority ruled,” he added.
“If we say the UDP fared badly because of its association with the NPP, how do you explain the 1.5 lakh votes garnered by the NPP candidate while the UDP could not reach 50,000 votes?” he asked.
“Likewise, the NPP may say it fared badly because of its association with the UDP,” Lyngdoh said, insisting such a theory does not make sense.
He also said the Lok Sabha elections cannot be treated as a referendum on the performance of the MDA, which completed only a year of its five-year term.
He said the Voice of the People Party was a new entrant in electoral politics and reaped the benefits of not having been in any government.
“Each election is different from the other. The upcoming election to the KHADC will be a different ball game altogether,” Lyngdoh said.

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