SHILLONG, May 25: In a major political move, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Hills State People Democratic Party (HSPDP) have decided to form a pre-poll alliance for the 2018 State Assembly elections. The formal decision was arrived at by the top functiories of the two regiol parties on Thursday, with an eye to get the maximum of the seats in the 36 legislative segments in Khasi- Jaintia Hills.
Addressing newspersons soon after the joint meeting, President of the UDP Donkupar Roy said, “After the agreement to go for a pre- poll alliance to strengthen the regiol party forces a joint committee has also been constituted to work on the formalities to decide on the prospective candidates”.
“This committee will also formulate the future plan of actions to reach out to the electorates about our election plank,” stated Roy. President of the HSPDP Ardent Basaiawmoit said, “This is the first time in Meghalya political history where two political parties have agreed for a pre-poll alliance,” even as he added that the pre poll agreement should not be perceived as a threats of losing by individuals of the two different parties.
Basaiawmoit clearly illustrated that the intention is to capture power by taking up issues confronting the people of the 36 constituencies.
However, the pre-poll alliance of the two domint regiol parties in Khasi Jaintia Hills will not touch the 24 legislative constituencies of the five districts of Garo hills. The HSPDP has virtually no base in Garo hills while the UDP is trying to consolidate through its little presence. On this, the UDP president said they are in touch with the tiolist People’s Party (NPP) to work out an understanding to outwit the congress in all the constituencies in the 2018 elections.
Interestingly, the two regiol political entities in the state refused to directly speak about the merger in order to put a unified front against the Congress. HSPDP leader said, his party endorsement for an alliance is to strengthen the alliance of the regiol parties while UDP President stated that the UDP is ready to accept any unification move of the regiol parties in the state.
Stating that the Joint committee will determine the candidates, both leaders also refused to project on who will be the Chief Ministerial candidate. “Right now, it’s not about the Chief Minister but about the interest of the people. We will have a parliamentary party to decide on this,” summed up Ardent Basaiwmoit.