SHILLONG, March 04: The United Democratic Party (UDP) and Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) on Sunday outrightly rejected Congress’ offer to form the new government in the state. Even though NPP came after Congress to propose the offer of alliance, the UDP opted for the former.
Outgoing Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma and other Congress leaders landed in the official residence of the UDP chief Donkupar Roy to make the offer on Sunday afternoon. Few minutes later, National People’s Party (NPP) president and Tura MP Conrad K Sangma accompanied by BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sharma also came and separately met Roy.
Earlier to this, BJP leaders including Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons also met the UDP leader.
Speaking to journalists, Roy said, “The proposal of Mukul and the Congress was that we will share the government. However, when I placed the same before the party, they all feel that taking into consideration the present situation, the best option is to form a non-Congress government.”
On whether Congress offered the post of chief minister to UDP, the former chief minister of the then MPA-led government said, “Until I have sufficient numbers of MLAs, I will never go for the post of the chief minister.”
Giving his reasoning, he said, “I don’t believe in inducement. It will not work for me as I am concerned for the stability of the government”.
The UDP chief who is also the chairman of the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) which comprises of the UDP and the HSPDP said that the both the regional parties have unanimously decided to support the NPP government with Conrad as the chief minister.
Stating that the choice was obvious because Conrad is the most acceptable to all and is also capable as he was the former finance minister and has experience in the state, Roy said, “It is not a question of trust but it is a question of who is a better person among the equals.”
He further informed that the party has not discussed on the issue related to the deputy chief minister’s post and said, “We will be part of the government but the only condition is that Conrad should the chief minister.”
On the other hand, the UDP chief said that Conrad too had agreed to the proposal of the party adding if they change, the party would sit and take a call on the matter.
With Prestone Tynsong being projected as the chief ministerial candidate of the NPP, Roy however said, “I don’t know, his (Tynsong) name was not suggested by them (NPP). They asked me who will be a better person; we said it’s Conrad.”
Meanwhile, the UDP chief also expressed confidence that the government to be formed by the NPP will last till the end of the five years term.
“It will last because the situation is different now than 2009. Who was there in Delhi and Raj Bhavan in 2009?” he said while recalling the reasons that led to the collapse of the MPA-led government in that year.
It may be mentioned here that the UDP has been a former coalition partner of the Congress in the past
The UDP won only in 6 seats while its partner HSPDP secured 2 seats in the 60-member House.
Not willing to divulge on how many MLAs of the two parties would be inducted in the cabinet, he however said that in a coalition, every partner will have representation.