SHILLONG, Aug 07: The United Democratic Party (UDP) is seeking to win the upcoming by elections to the Ranikor seat in the Assembly and is going all out to achieve this goal through an aggressive campaigning exercise.
In this regard, the general secretary of the party, Jemino Mawthoh informed that the central executive committee of the party has decided to come up with a specific strategy for the upcoming polls.
He said the party ministers and MLAs will also be campaigning for the party’s candidate Pius Marwein.
“This time we want to ensure we win the seat because it is extremely important for us not only to strengthen the party base in Ranikor but to increase the number of seats in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA),” Mawthoh said.
The UDP presently has 6 MLAs in the 60-member Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.
Marwein will be contesting against stalwart and former five-time legislator of Ranikor Martin M Danggo who is seeking re-election from the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) after he had quit the Congress party.
Mawthoh opines that the party’s candidate has emerged as a strong contender for the seat adding that in the last February 27 Assembly polls, Marwein lost to Danggo by a very thin margin.
Stating that the party is also getting the support of the Hill State People Democratic Party (HSPDP), he said that HSPDP MLAs – Samlin Malngiang and Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar – and leaders will also be campaigning for Marwein.
Mawthoh said that the opposition Congress has its own battle as they want to ensure that Danggo is defeated in the upcoming by - election.
On the other hand, the UDP, which is the main ally of the MDA government, is extending its full support to the NPP national president and Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma who will be contesting the by -election to the South-Tura seat, which will be held simultaneously with Ranikor.
“We hope that he (Conrad) is will win the seat as he has been doing quite well and has taken a lot of initiatives as Chief Minister in the past three months,” Mawthoh said while informing that UDP leaders in Garo Hills have also agreed to extend their full support to Conrad’s candidature.
Mawthoh also maintains that the party is not supporting the independent candidate Kabul Sangma, a former UDP leader who has rebelled and quit the party. “There is no question of supporting him (Kabul) since he has left the party,” he added.