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Ardent to lead Khasi autonomous council

Shillong, Feb. 28: Regional parties are all set to form the new executive committee in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), which will be led by Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) leader Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit.

In the KHADC polls, the results of which were declared yesterday, the Congress secured the highest number of seats by winning in 10 out of 29 constituencies. The national party is being followed by the HSPDP with seven members.

The United Democratic Party (UDP) has six members while the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) four. There is one member from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and an Independent.

A party or an alliance requires more than 15 members to form the executive committee. There is also room for the nomination of one member to the council.

At a meeting held here this evening, the HSPDP, UDP and KHNAM decided to form the All Regional Parties’ Alliance (ARPA), which would be led by Basaiawmoit, who won his maiden entry into the KHADC yesterday from Nongkrem constituency. He also represents the constituency in the state Assembly.

Besides the 17 members from these three regional parties, the alliance has also received the support from the lone Independent James Sylliang.

While Basaiawmoit will become the new chief executive member of the KHADC, the executive committee will comprise Teinwell Dkhar of the UDP as the deputy CEM, three executive members each from the HSPDP, UDP and KHNAM. The executive committee can have a maximum strength of 11 members.

Moreover, the council chairman is expected to be from the HSPDP while the deputy chairman from the KHNAM.

The alliance is also expected to formulate a common minimum programme although the issues the regional parties advocate are similar.

Basaiawmoit, while expressing confidence that the alliance would rule the KHADC until the end of the five-year term, said it was unnecessary for the members to sign a deed to prevent horse-trading.

“We feel that we do not require any agreement to be signed with the members as we believe that they will keep their word,” he told reporters.

In the absence of the anti-defection law in the KHADC, members, in the past, have been defecting from one party to another with impunity. This had led to instability on various occasions.

In the JHADC, the Congress, which won 14 out of 29 seats, has elected Thombor Shiwat as the parliamentary party leader, thereby, paving the way for him to lead the executive committee.

Shiwat, representing Nartiang-Umladang constituency, will succeed another Congressman Madonbai Rymbai, who was re-elected to the council.

It is learnt that seven out of the nine Independent members who were elected to the council have pledged their support to the Congress.

The Congress, which had reportedly approached the UDP and the KHNAM for the formation of the executive committee in the KHADC, has elected outgoing chief executive member Pynshngain N. Syiem as its parliamentary party leader.

The newly elected council members will take oath on Tuesday.

The deputy commissioners of East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills will be administering the oath to the members of the two councils.

The members in both councils will elect their respective chairmen and chief executive member on Thursday.


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