SHILLONG, July 10: The United Democratic Party (UDP) has deferred its decision on the issue of a common candidate for the upcoming Ranikor by elections while stating that the party will decide on this issue at a later date.
Informing this here on Tuesday, UDP senior working president Bindo M Lanong said, “We have heard and taken the views of everybody and we will be submitting a report to the party which will take a final call on the matter very soon.”
This decision was made after a consultative meeting held with PDF chairman Pynshngain N Syiem, UDP candidate Pius Marwein and leaders from different political parties in Ranikor constituency, here on Tuesday.
Lanong also said that during the meeting there are those who want Syiem to be the common candidate and there are those who are in favour of Marwein as he had managed to secure over 9,000 votes in the Assembly polls earlier this year.
He also said they are also of the opinion that it may be a tough battle for Syiem due to paucity of time while there are those who are of the opinion that Marwein may be too young.
“However, all have agreed to the fact that if both of them (Syiem and Marwein) decide to contest the upcoming Ranikor by poll, they will not succeed in winning the seat,” Lanong said.
The by - election was necessitated after former senior Congress leader Martin M Danggo resigned as a member of Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on June 21, following the decision of the MDA government to upgrade Ranikor Administrative Unit into a civil sub division.
Danggo, who will be contesting from the ruling National People’s Party (NPP), had defeated UDP candidate Pius Marwein by a margin of 2002 in the February 27 Assembly elections held this year.
On the other hand, Syiem who is also trying to project himself as the common candidate for the seat was a former legislator of Mawsynram, the seat he lost to present Congress MLA H Shangpliang.
Meanwhile Marwein has said that during the meeting he along with his supporters had requested the PDF leader to consider supporting the UDP while arguing that it has a better chance in the by - election.
“We have observed that over 17,000 voters are against the former MLA (Danggo) and have voted for the UDP, PDF, NPP, BJP and HSPDP. Therefore, we feel that we have a better chance this time to win the seat,” he said.
Asked about how Syiem had responded to this request, Marwein however said, “He said that he would take a call on the matter and he will let us know.”
Stating that the objective of the meeting with leaders of different political parties was to ensure Danggo does not come back as MLA, he said that they have also resolved to take the best decision and ensure there is unity especially among regional parties in the upcoming by poll.
Earlier, Syiem, who had resigned as KHADC chief, said that after discussing both the merits and demerits, the UDP had assured that it would soon take a call on the matter. He however refused to comment when asked what would happen if the UDP decides to field Marwein as the candidate for the Ranikor seat.