Assembly Speaker and UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh today said that he would not contest from two constituencies as earlier rumoured.
He was speaking to media persons after the party released the first list of 32 candidates for the polls.
Earlier, there were rumours that Lyngdoh is planning to contest from both Mairang and Mawphlang in the upcoming polls.
“These are fabricated stories. I am contesting only from Mairang,” he said.
When asked about the fate of senior most party leader Bindo M. Lanong, the UDP president said, “The party is not neglecting anyone but everyone has to work for the party.”
On reports that Lanong may float a new political party if he was denied a party ticket, Lyngdoh said, “I have not met him (Lanong) and he has not said this to me.”
Denying that there is any friction within the UDP over the ticket, Lyngdoh said, “We are working as a team and united and this is the reason we were able to declare the 32 candidates names. Even though we may have some differences that are sorted out as they are internal matters of the party.”
When asked how he will ensure that the candidates declared so early will not jump ship at the last moment, Lyngdoh said, “They will not jump ship, there is a process. It is not that some Tom Dick and Harry will just come to the general secretary of the party and apply for the tickets. These interested candidates have been chosen right from the constituency level, then their names are forwarded to the district unit and then to the State level of the party before the election committee of the party decides.”
With regards to the pre-poll alliance, he said the outcome in the last election was not proper but maintains that the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) comprising UDP and HSPDP is still in place and that both parties are on good terms.
When asked about the alleged irregularities and allegations against the NPP led MDA government where the UDP is a key partner, Lyngdoh said, “I cannot say what is the truth behind whatever has been written in the newspapers. I will not come to any conclusion by just reading a newspaper. It is only right and appropriate for me to find out the truth and see what steps can be taken.”
Earlier addressing the gathering, Lyngdoh said that the UDP is a strong independent political alternative which could stand up for the aspirations of the people.
“In politics, regionalism is an ideology that highlights the local identity and the need for independent regional planning and enhanced freedom. I think there’s a scope for a regional political party in the state to fulfill the dream of the youth and the needs of the people of Meghalaya,” he said, adding that the UDP has no high command, no big boss cultural, or political elegance to stop it from thinking about its own State.
“We hope that in 2023 the people will give us the mandate. Since in many pockets, the people of the state are in search of an independent political voice of their own. If states like Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bengal and Odisha can have their own regional parties, why not in Meghalaya?” he added.