Grace springs a surprise, becomes PDA’s nominee for CEM

SHILLONG, Jul 11: A day after 17 Members of District Council (MDCs) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) managed to topple the Executive Committee (EC) of Pynshngaiñ N Syiem cracks have also appeared in the alliance.

It may be pointed out that on Monday evening, 17 MDCs belonging to various political parties had formed the Khasi Hills Democratic Alliance (KHDA) and on Tuesday after the resignation of Syiem who quit the post of Chief Executive Member (CEM) without facing the no confidence brought against him, they had chosen Hispreaching Son Shylla as their CEM.

But on Wednesday morning when, Shylla thought that it would be smooth sailing for him since there would be no challenger for the post of CEM he was in for a surprise – Grace Mary Kharpuri who had a day earlier pledge her support to the KHDA was in the rival camp.

While Shylla is the nominee of the KHDA for the post of CEM, Kharpuri is the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) nominee for the top post of the KHADC.

Shylla is the National People’s Party (NPP) MDC from Nongkrem and Kharpuri is People’s Democratic Front (PDF) member from Nongshken constituency.

Speaking to media persons after filing his nominations, Shylla said that he was surprised by the sudden turn of events.

“Yesterday we decided that we are united all 17 of us including Grace Mary Kharpuri. When I reached the office of the Secretary of the KHADC to file my nomination I thought she was accompanying us (KHDA). But I learnt that she will be filing her nomination as a PDF member,” Shylla said.

He said that till yesterday she was talking about the highhandedness of the previous EC led by Syiem and the MDCs were victimised by him but today she is on his side.

Shylla also said that when the KHDA met on Tuesday afternoon Kharpuri did not project herself as the CEM.

“If she had made her stand clear on Tuesday itself then there might have been a discussion, because we want the EC to last since there are many issues pending before the House,” the KHDA’s nominee for the post of CEM said.

On Tuesday during the meet of the KHDA to choose their leader, the names of four members came up that of Shylla (NPP), Manstudy Nongrem (HSPDP), Neil Antonio War and Teiñwell Dkhar both of the United Democratic Party (UDP).

UDP, MDC, War said that blasted the Congress for changing their stance overnight.

“The Congress yesterday gave its letter of support to the KHDA but today morning they withdrew it and supported Kharpuri,” he said.

“The Congress MDCs are opportunists. They go wherever profitable,” War added.

Clarifying her stand, Kharpuri stated that she decided to leave the KHDA overnight because she has seen that there was already division in the alliance over the choice of CEM.

“There was division between the UDP and the NPP on the choice of the CEM. After the resignation of PN Syiem we thought we would get a consensus leader but in the alliance there were already two-three contenders of the post,” Kharpuri informed.

“Instead at the meet they wanted to go for a secret voting to choose our leader. This put doubts into my mind that if there was a secret voting we are already divided,” she added.

According to her if the KHDA already had the numbers to form the EC the need of the hour was stability but such a thing was not to be seen while choosing the alliance’s nominee of CEM.

Kharpuri stated that the MDCs of the Council in six months time were going back to the people to seek re-election.

“We still have lots of many pending issues like and we should not waste our time,” she added.

Therefore, according to her as a woman she has taken responsibility to seize the opportunity of leading the KHADC and decided to contest for the CEM’s post.

“I request the MDCs (from KHDA) to support my candidature for the benefit of the people, because we are here not for our own interest but for their interest,” Kharpuri said.

The voting to choose the next CEM of the KHADC will be held on Thursday.

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