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Paul Lyngdoh bats for single-party govt, says no ‘no question of an alliance at this stage’

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Shillong, Feb 7: UDP leader and former legislator from West Shillong Paul Lyngdoh on Tuesday expressed confidence that the party will cross the halfway mark to lead the new government in the state.

After filing his nomination, Lyngdoh told reporters that the question of an alliance at this stage does not at all arise.

“If we are to admit or we are to calculate in terms of an alliance today then what is the point of putting up 40 candidates. Are you saying we put up 40 candidates and we say we are not working hard to win 32 plus among the 40. Therefore, the question of an alliance at this stage does not at all arise because we are trying to win all the 40 seats, if not 40 at least 31 plus,” he said.

Commenting on former deputy CM Bindo M Lanong’s prediction that the UDP will not even get 10 seats, the party leader however said, “I am not part of his calculation. I didn’t know whether he checked whether he used a computer, whether he used a calculator. I will respect that opinion of his without adding any of mine.”

Stating that he and his colleagues are well prepared for the upcoming elections, Lyngdoh said, “Meghalaya should be prepared for its second journey. We have completed the golden jubilee of our state and today it is a second chance for Meghalaya to re-emerge and reinvigorate itself through the mandate of the people.”

When asked on the issues he is going to the people of West Shillong to seek their mandate, the former legislator said, “The major issues that remain unattended to which I had tried to pay full attention during my tenure of 15 years is the empowering of the youth, creation of job avenues for them. We also have a major problem of high levels of drug addiction and dropout – these are few issues that top the agenda in my list of priorities.”

Blaming the use of money power for his defeat in the last 2018 polls, Lyngdoh said, “If I was a distributor, I would not have lost in the last election. Had I used money power, I would have sure been in the Assembly till this term but the fact that I lost because of the influence of money power should speak for itself and more importantly people look up to me as a policy maker as someone who initiates and takes part in debates in the house – so this tag of distributing stuff really should and does not worry me at all.”

When asked about the performance of the sitting legislator Mohendro Rapsang, Lyngdoh said that the electorate of West Shillong are the best judge. He went on to add, “I do not believe in harping on his weaknesses to lose my own strength, my strength is inherent to me and I need not use any of his weaknesses as a plus point or an additional point to my share of the votes.”

On the allegation that regional parties are “spineless”, the UDP leader however said, “Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion. All I can say is that in the last term, the UDP was rejected massively by the electorate and therefore, it could only win 6 out of 60 seats. Hence, the question of having a backbone or not having one does not arise as it is the electorate which ultimately decided that we should have just 6 MLAs but this time around we are very confident because going by indications and surveys, we know for sure that we are headed towards a landslide victory in many constituencies.”

The former leader of the Khasi Students’ Union further asserted the need for Meghalaya to have a single party-led government while commenting on the performance of the MDA government during the past five years.

“I have gone and aired my views on the media several times so you know where I stand but all I can say you know having a government led by a single party would be ideal for the state then there will be no room for blame game because then that single party which has been re-elected that will be responsible for all the performance, it will take credit for the performance and take the blame for non-performance.”

Reiterating the UDP’s stand on implementation of the inner line permit (ILP), Lyngdoh said, “You know my view, I have spoken on ILP at length on the floor of the Assembly. You know the view of the party we endorse the ILP resolution… In fact the matter of the ILP does not remain in Meghalaya anymore. It has crossed the boundary of Meghalaya. It has gone to the Parliament. It has gone to the Centre. So at this stage we will only be able to follow up based on the resolution adopted by the Assembly.”

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