East Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh welcomed the decision of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s Democratic Front (PDF) to support the National People’s Party (NPP) in forming the next government, saying that the state does not need a political tug of war.
The UDP was at the forefront of the search for a non-NPP, non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and, with 11 seats, it would have been in the driving seat had it been able to stitch together a coalition that would keep the NPP, the biggest party in the incoming Assembly with 26 seats, out of power.
However, those plans fell through as the NPP managed to cajole and convince the two HSPDP legislators to slip out from under the UDP’s nose and into the Conrad Sangma-led camp.
Able to read the writing on the wall, the UDP swallowed its pride and made peace with the NPP and the PDF followed suit.
Speaking to Highland Post, Lyngdoh, of the NPP, said that there was no clear mandate from the people in Khasi Hills but that those of the Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills overwhelmingly went for the NPP.
The NPP failed to win a single seat in West Khasi Hills, Eastern West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, just two in East Khasi Hills and two in Ri-Bhoi. However, it won a massive 18 in Garo Hills and four in Jaintia Hills to make it the prime mover in forming the government.
“The mandate of the people in Garo Hills and Jaintia was very clear, unlike in Khasi Hills where it was a fractured mandate. The mandate of the people is final and should be accepted,” Lyngdoh said today. “The numbers speak, not what we think or talk on the street,” she added in apparent reference to protests against the HSPDP MLAs by pressure groups who want a non-NPP, non-BJP government led by a Khasi Chief Minister.
On the allotment of portfolios, the former cabinet minister said politics is all about numbers and, in this aspect, they can only hope that an understanding prevails between the coalition members.
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