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Paul’s HSPDP pullout claim surprises UDP

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SHILLONG, July 5: Most leaders of the United Democratic Party (UDP) have expressed surprise over party working president Paul Lyngdoh’s claims that the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) has expressed its desire to pull out of the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA).
UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh got into damage control mode and rubbished the report. He said that he has spoken to top leaders of the HSPDP who have communicated that the party is with the UDP under the RDA banner.
Another senior UDP leader told The Shillong Times requesting anonymity that there was no such communication from the HSPDP leadership, either verbally or in writing.
He said Lyngdoh must have made an assumption after the HSPDP had recently declared that it was planning to contest the district council elections on its own.
“The RDA is very much intact. Even HSPDP president KP Pangniang has rubbished this claim,” the UDP leader said.
He, however, admitted that Lyngdoh’s statement has created some confusion in the leaderships of the two parties.
Earlier, Pangniang asserted that the HSPDP will remain with the RDA.
“There is no question of coming out of the alliance with the UDP,” he had stated.
The HSPDP president asserted that their decision to contest the district council polls on their own has no connection with the RDA.
Earlier, confirming the HSPDP’s exit from the RDA, the UDP working president had said the HSPDP has verbally communicated their unwillingness to continue with the RDA.
The RDA is an alliance forged between the HSPDP and the UDP. The two have been using this platform to field common candidate and also candidates with understanding in various constituencies.
“There are multiple factors for the failure of the RDA candidate (Robertjune Kharjahrin) in the Lok Sabha polls and which is why, the HSPDP has decided to pull out of the RDA,” Lyngdoh had claimed.
He also said that the two parties will meet formally and settle all the issues once and for all.
Asked if this decision of the HSPDP will impact the UDP negatively, he said, “You might say so. We might think it is better to work separately since we could not secure 5% of the total vote share this time. Probably, if we would have contested alone, we could have crossed that.” Meanwhile, the UDP, which is the principal opposition party in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), has asked the NPP-led Executive Committee (EC) to provide the copy of the report of the delimitation committee as soon they receive it.
“We understand that the delimitation committee will submit the report by the end of this month. We would not want the EC to dilly-dally since elections need to be held at the earliest,” KHADC opposition leader, Titosstarwell Chyne said on Friday.
He mentioned that the delimitation committee report will need the approval of the House before the EC can initiate the delimitation exercise to readjust the 29 existing constituencies.
According to him, there is no point to delay in holding the elections since the petitions questioning the constitution of the delimitation committee has been disposed of by the High Court of Meghalaya.
“There is no more hurdle for the holding of the elections,” Chyne said.
Recently, UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh had stated that the party is ready for the district council election. He emphasised that the delimitation process should be expedited and the election should be held as soon as possible.
Asserting that the party is ready to face the district council elections, he said there is a need to hold the elections at the earliest to allow people to choose their representatives in time.
The polls in Khasi and Jaintia hills district councils were due in February this year but the terms of the Houses were extended by six months.

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