SHILLONG, Aug 27: The state president of the National People’s Party (NPP), WR Kharlukhi has predicted that the Congress party will be wiped out from two of the three Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Meghalaya namely the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC).
“I assure you that in both the KHADC and JHADC elections, the Congress will not be a force as it will be a fight between the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) partners. You marked my words,” Kharlukhi said here on Monday.
His statement came following the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA)’s victory in the twin by -elections where Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma won the South Tura seat and Pius Marwein of the United Democratic Party (UDP) won the Ranikor seat.
Terming the victory as an MDA win, Kharlukhi said, “We are happy because we won with a thumping margin in South Tura but even then though we lost the Ranikor seat, at least the Congress forfeited its security deposit.”
When it was pointed out that the Congress’ vote bank in South Tura has not changed, the NPP state president said, “Yes it has not changed but they lost by a margin of over 8,000 votes.”
Asked whether the NPP’s defeat in Ranikor will affect its relationship with the UDP, Kharlukhi however said that the just concluded by-election has nothing to do with the MDA.
“It will rather strengthen the MDA. In fact we are increasing our strength and MDA will remain till 2023 and even after 2023,” he said.
Reacting to another query on what if there is backstabbing from the partner, Kharlukhi however said, “You should look at the history of UDP chief Donkupar Roy. He is a man of principles he had never gone back on his word. If he promised the Congress he sticks to it, if he promised the regional parties, the NCP he sticks to his word.”
Stating that the MDA partners will be fighting the MDC elections next year on their own, he said, “Because this coalition was stitched only after elections, it was not a pre-poll alliance, so we are free and we may fight elections but as MDA we are together.”
Kharlukhi also said that the Congress party should not celebrate the NPP’s defeat in Ranikor as it needs to read between the lines. “I don’t see any reason for them to be happy. Yes, if they want to be happy for the sake of being happy nobody can stop them,” he said.
“I pity the Congress they are in between the devil and the deep blue sea. If they still keep Mukul Sangma as their leader, they will never be able to form the government and everybody knows about his dictatorial attitude and if they throw Mukul out, Congress is gone in Meghalaya. This is the situation that the Congress is facing in Meghalaya,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kharlukhi said that the NPP will introspect to find the reason behind the defeat in Ranikor, which was recently given a civil sub-division by the MDA government.
Asked whether the decision to give the Ranikor civil sub-division was a failure, Kharlukhi said, “If we can, we should bring development to the people. If we can, we should give everybody a civil sub division, if we have the money for the convenience of the people.”
He also attributed the loss in Ranikor to a desire of the people there to elect a new leader as opposed to a ‘betrayal’ on their part.