Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

People not happy with NPP, claims Banteidor

SHILLONG, Jan 4: Just days after making a sensational allegation that the ruling NPP had offered him Rs 5 crore to join the party, PDF working president and Cabinet Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh on Wednesday fired another salvo at the Conrad Sangma-led party by claiming that people were not very happy with the performance of the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance.
“There is a mixed reaction to the performance of the ruling coalition. I would admit that the people are not very happy,” Lyngdoh said.
PDF president Gavin Miguel Mylliem went a step further, claiming that his party had not endorsed every decision taken by the MDA despite being in the coalition.
“We had raised issues whether it was the irregularities in the MeECL or the rice scam. We had also objected to the government’s proposal to set up casinos in the state. We had always met Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and raised the issues whenever we were unhappy with any decision taken by the government,” Mylliem said.
Referring to the interstate border issue, Lyngdoh said the PDF was not made part of the border resolution process. “We weren’t even included in the regional committees,” he pointed out.
The PDF leaders claimed that the party had ably played a constructive role as partners of the coalition.
They were candid in admitting that the PDF, with just four MLAs, was not in a position to topple the government even if they wanted.
Talking about the party’s prospects in the elections, Lyngdoh said the party was focusing on winning the maximum number of seats. Asked about the PDF’s future, Lyngdoh said the PDF would be a part of the next government. Lyngdoh also ruled any pre-poll alliance with any political party. But he admitted that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had approached the PDF for a pre-poll pact.
Earlier, the party released its first list of candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls. The list contains eight names.
Mylliem, who is the party president as well as the sitting MLA, will seek to retain his Sohra seat while Cabinet Minister and sitting MLA Banteidor Lyngdoh will contest from Mawkynrew.
PDF general secretary Auspicious L Mawphlang will contest from Mawphlang constituency.
The list also contains the names of Shembok Garod from Raliang, Roswel Shadap from Mawhati, Donlang Sohkhlet from Umsning, Romeo Phira Rani from East Shillong and Egenstar Kurkalang from Nongkrem.
Mylliem said the party will release a second list in the coming days.
It may be added that two sitting PDF MLAs – Hamletson Dohling (Mylliem) and Jason S Mawlong (Umsning) are likely to join the NPP in the next three days.
Asked about the exit of the two sitting MLAs, Mylliem admitted that it would affect the party.
“But we cannot stop them from joining another party since it is their individual choice,” he said.

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