RDA meets PDF on common candidate: Talks positive but inconclusive

SHILLONG, Nov 12: The Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) a pre poll coalition of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) has invited the People Democratic Front (PDF) to join them.

Speaking to media persons “We want to strengthen the regional parties, and in our endeavour to do so today we invited the PDF,” HSPDP legislator Renikton Tongkhar said.

Tongkhar informed that at the meeting held on Monday in the official residence of UDP president Dr Donkupar Roy, they discussed ways and means to strengthen the regional parties.

“The meet was positive but inconlcusive,” the HSPDP MLA said.

All the four PDF legislators consisting of Agriculture Minister, Banteidor Lyngdoh, Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling, MLAs Gavin Miguel Mylliem, Jason Mawlong and its president Ivanlumlang Marbaniang attended the meeting.

Tongkhar informed that at the meeting the RDA also offered a pre-poll alliance with the PDF.

The PDF on its part said that it will discuss the issue at the party level first before making any decision on the offer.

Meanwhile, on the issue of a common candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the RDA said that the UDP and the HSPDP will propose their own candidates.

While, the UDP has forwarded the name of Jemino Mawthoh, and the HSPDP agreed on Tongkhar as their parties choice of common candidate which will however be taken to the MDA.

The PDF will also nominate its own common candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.

Mmoreover, the RDA reiterated that it should be given an opportunity set up the common candidate from the Shillong Parliamentary seat.

“Seat sharing is a common thing in any alliance. If NPP is given an opportunity to set candidate from Tura then the regional parties should be given a chance to set up the common candidate for the Shillong Parliamentary seat,” UDP vice president, Allantry F Dkhar said.

Dkhar also said that if the NPP does not respect the feelings of the regional forces then it may ultimately lead to instability.

“This is the ground realty of any alliance. We are only saying as partners in the MDA we should have also have say on deciding the common candidate of the alliance,” the UDP vice-president said.

Dkhar also said that in a democracy everybody should be heard and with every partner in the alliance projecting its own member as their choice of a common candidate the best of the lot will be chosen and the exercise is underway.

The regional parties however wants the BJP to contest the Shillong Lok Sabha seat saying that it may be a “tactical contest”, Tongkhar said, “It is alright… (if the BJP contests) we stand a chance if the BJP set up a candidate.”

He also added that one cannot stop a national party from contesting.

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