Hell hath no fury as a politician scorned could well be a new phrase apt to Meghalaya, at least as the ongoing saga surrounding Bindo Lanong, former Deputy Chief Minister and one of the longest serving members of the party.
Speaking to Highland Post today, Lanong said that the present UDP leadership has taken a horrible decision in choosing Lambor Malngiang, the sitting Nongkrem MLA, as its candidate for the February 27 election. Malngiang won in 2018 as an independent and only yesterday joined the UDP.
Lanong had been building up his profile in Nongkrem for the past few years after twice losing the East Shillong race in 2013 and 2018.
“I have been ignored and the manner this matter has been decided in favour of a person who has never been in the UDP (Lambor Malngiang) in place of a person who is part and parcel of the formation of the UDP is a horrible decision,” Lanong said.
Yesterday, UDP general secretary Jemino Mawthoh said that the decision on candidates was not taken by individual party leaders but by its election committee. Lanong had previously attacked Mawthoh and UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh over their supposed preference for Malngiang.
“Who are these present leaders who came much after the UDP was formed to take such a decision and allot the party ticket to a person who has never been with the party?” he asked. “And if they say that this was the decision of the election committee of the party, then based on what considerations did the committee allot the party ticket to Malngiang? If there are the right people in the committee I think they will know whom to choose and not choose someone who has shifted his loyalties from one party to the other.”
After more than two decades in the UDP, Lanong is set to run against the party’s candidate for the Nongkrem seat as an independent. However, he has also been courted by other parties, he said, but turned them all down.
Lanong plans to hold a press conference on Friday to reveal more.