TURA, July 17: Differences between the UDP central leadership and the Garo Hills section came to the fore after a meeting between party members of Garo Hills at Asanang on Tuesday to speak on the issues of fielding a candidate against the Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma in South Tura.
The party meeting was held on the statements of the central leadership seeking support for Conrad.
“In the wake of differences arising between UDP Garo Hills and its high command regarding the fielding of candidate we would like to clarify that the party in this part of the state is losing its popularity because the party leaders at the central level always think of having an understanding with NPP,” said a release by the party.
The members felt that since it was a separate party with a separate identity, it was imperative for the party to contest.
“We need to make the people of the state feel the presence of the party and we the party workers here in Garo Hills who are trying hard to popularize it,” said general secretary, Utzol Sangma.
The Garo Hills section of UDP further stated that though the central leadership has asked for the party members to support Conrad’s candidature, there was no written communication given to them. In the absence of written direction, the party members were preparing to fight elections.
“The statement of Prestone Tynsong repeatedly saying that alliance partners are free to field their own candidates is an indicator. Even CM Conrad Sangma has also said that he will appeal to the alliance partners for support but also said that ‘the decision was entirely theirs’ which indicates the same,” said state vice president Utpal Arengh.
“We are neither against NPP nor MDA but there are people who are neither for Congress nor NPP but longing for a regional party. Considering that, the party has a very good chance of winning the constituency,” added Arengh.
“The party does not have any representation in the assembly from Garo Hills which is very important. I feel it is important also to field a candidate. We are doubtful whether the CM is contesting to retain his chair or to serve the people of South Tura constituency. The seat became vacant after resignation of the incumbent MLA betraying the people’s mandate,” felt Tilberth A. Sangma, the UDP secretary of WGH.
“Whatever Dr Donkupar Roy has stated regarding ensuring victory of Conrad K. Sangma is only as a leader of the MDA coalition but not as UDP. We are yet to sit to discuss the matter which is why there seem to be a little communication gap,” added Working President of WGH UDP Womens’ Wing Smera A. Sangma.