The mudslinging between the National People’s Party (NPP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) in Sohiong continued even on polling day, with rivals for the seat trading barbs after casting their votes in the deferred election.
It has been a no holds barred contest between the two parties for Sohiong, with both looking to strengthen their respective positions within the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.
Their candidates, Samlin Malngiang (NPP) and Synshar Lyngdoh Thabah (UDP), both exuded confidence about winning the election.
There were six candidates in the running, with Malngiang the incumbent and Thabah the nephew of former legislator HDR Lyngdoh. Malngiang had won on an Hill State People’s Democratic Party ticket in 2018 but defected to the NPP in January. Thabah entered the field only after Lyngdoh’s demise on February 20, one week before the state election.
Malngiang today said that there is no sympathy factor in Sohiong, hence that card will not work for the UDP candidate. He also went on attacking his opponent, stating that Thabah had many personal issues with his late uncle.
“So, the people of Sohiong don’t want to follow him because he was disrespectful to his uncle. The bad words used by the UDP candidate saying that his late uncle had an expiry date is a big mistake,” Malngiang said.
Thabah, meanwhile, said that government or the MDA should be put aside as the people want a change. “The people here want me to come to power and bring that change. If the people give me the mandate there’s a lot to be done in the constituency. We don’t need just a legislator, we need a lawmaker who will go to the Assembly and raise the voice of the Sohiong people. So, I will speak for them and be their voice to demand ILP and roster recruitment system, among other issues,” he said.
Despite the NPP and UDP being allies in government, Malngiang said that this election was not a ‘friendly match’ between the two sides. He also confirmed that things will change and the UDP might be out of the government if he wins this seat (a threat used extensively on the campaign trail) since the number of NPP will increase.
There are a total of 28 NPP legislators at present and one more will bring them to within touching distance of a majority.
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