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UDP endorses Paul Lyngdoh for LS poll

Shillong, March 7: The United Democratic Party (UDP) in Meghalaya today endorsed the name of its working president Paul Lyngdoh as the candidate for the April 9 Lok Sabha polls, but stopped short from officially declaring him as the nominee for the battle pending a response from two other regional parties.

The endorsement by the party’s central executive committee, which met at the residence of UDP president Donkupar Roy, came months after the party had projected Lyngdoh’s name.

However, the party is also awaiting the response from two other regional parties, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM), which have been approached to endorse Lyngdoh as the consensus candidate of the regional forces, before making an “official” announcement on Lyngdoh’s candidature.

UDP working president Bindo M. Lanong said the party already had parleys with HSPDP and KHNAM on Lyngdoh’s candidature.

The parties, which had sought time, will have to send their response by tomorrow because of time constraints, Lanong said.

Recently, the UDP, HSPDP and KHNAM had formed the All Regional Parties’ Alliance (ARPA) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) to keep the Congress out of power.

Tomorrow is also the day when the council elects its chief executive member. HSPDP leader Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, who also leads the ARPA, will be contesting against Congress leader Pynshngainlang N. Syiem for the top post.

While ARPA has 17 members in the 30-member council, the Congress, which had formed the Khasi Hills United Democratic Alliance (KHUDA-II), has 12 members. The governor will nominate one member.

Until recently, the HSPDP and KHNAM had indicated their inclination towards the candidature of Rev. P.B.M. Basaiawmoit, who will be contesting as a “people’s candidate” for the parliamentary polls.

“The coalition in the district council is a platform of unity. Therefore, the symbolic platform should also appear very distinctly for the parliamentary elections also. On the basis of that principle (unity in the district council), we expect that there will be a very positive signal from our colleagues,” Lanong said.

However, he refused to spell out the party’s course of action in case the HSPDP and the KHNAM refuse to lend their support to Lyngdoh. “We will wait until tomorrow,” he said.

Lyngdoh, a former president of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), is representing the West Shillong constituency in the Assembly.

He first entered the Assembly in 2003 as a KHNAM member when he was elected from the then Jaiaw constituency. In 2008, he was the lone KHNAM member in the Assembly.