FROM OUR REPORTER
SHILLONG, July 11: As per the recommendation of a meeting between United Democratic Party (UDP) Nongkrem Circle and members of its Election Committee of East Khasi Hills district at the residence of state UDP president Donkupar Roy, it was decided to allot party candidature to former KHADC chief HS Shylla for the MDC by-election from Nongkrem constituency.
According to the UDP leader Donkupar Roy, the election is slated to take place in the month of September or October later this year. Addressing the newsmen after the meeting on Monday leader of opposition and UDP chief Roy said, “According to the constitution of UDP, it has to go through the State Election Committee (SEC) first to declare candidature. Since the candidature is recommended, the declaration from SEC is just a formality.”
He informed that the DCA Minister HDR Lyngdoh in a meeting told him that due to the ongoing rainy season the by-election is likely to be held in September or October.
“We will call this campaign Mission Nongkrem in order to ensure that Shylla wins the MDC by-election,” he said.
On the statements made by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma that the MDC by-election has to be put on hold until the High Court announces its decision on the dual post issue, Roy said, “The High Court has yet to give any interim order in this regard and it is very wrong on the part of the CM to make such statements. However, if the High Court did give an interim order then that’s a different matter all together.”
When asked if there is any move from the UDP to restrict elected MDCs from deserting its party as had been the case with Shylla who had in the past defected and joined the Congress party, he said, “It is a question of good faith but as long as there is no law to check such things from happening we cannot say that we will be able to stop any MDC from joining another party and this is one reason there is plenty of instability in the District Council and the UDP has repeatedly been demanding the need to have a strong law to put a stop to the defection of elected MDCs.”
He said that the party is lucky to have a friend like Shylla who once took the wrong path and later when he realized decided to come back to the party.
The UDP will also be contesting from the entire constituency in which the post of MDC has been left vacant.
Questioned the reason the UDP is in the opposition in the Assembly but is supporting the Congress at KHADC, he said, “Our support is based on issues. The party also want to be associated with regiol parties however everyone knows why ARPA crumbled and after that there were many problems inside the Congress party and that made our MDCs to shift their support to the present KHADC CEM P N Syiem base on issues taken by him.”
Meanwhile, admitting to have made a decision in the past to shy away from the political field, Shylla said, “Yes I had made that decision in the past. However, the people of Nongkrem constituency has approached me and has been constantly urging me to rejoin politics and after seeing the many issues faced by the people in 2015 right from the headmen issue, MUDA building bye-laws etc.. I later took the decision to accept their request.”
When asked the reason for not opting for a Congress ticket despite being an ardent campaigner for Vincent Pala during the MP elections, he said, “As it stands right now there is no future for the Congress party in the State and across the country people are skeptical to join the Congress now because even the CLP which is a basic platform for MLAs to voice their views is never being held regularly and even if it the CLP is held everything is being dictated from the Centre and there is no more inner democracy in the Congress.”
He observed that the only connection the people of Nongkrem constituency have with their MLA Ardent Basaiawmoit is through the MLA schemes. “As it stands right now in the constituency it feels like Nongkrem is under ‘President Rule’ and even the people also find it difficult even to meet the local MLA,” he said.