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Sohiong poll result to have no effect on NPP-UDP relationship: Paul Lyngdoh

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Shillong, May 10: United Democratic Party (UDP) leader and cabinet minister Paul Lyngdoh on Wednesday said the adjourned election in Sohiong Assembly constituency will not strain the relationship of his party and the National People’s Party (NPP), which is leading the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance-2 government.

“No, I don’t see any strain in any case. This was an election which was supposed to be held along with the rest of the constituencies. So it is just a matter of accident that we lost our candidate at that point of time but the fact is that we could form a government (and) it has just been two months plus today so I don’t see even the need to mention that word “strain”,” Lyngdoh told reporters.

He added, “Even in a marriage you have a seven-year itch and here you have a term of five years so where’s the space for that itch I don’t see any space for that.”

When asked about the indication made by the NPP leader and deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong about a possible political change in the government, the UDP working president said, “Well, he (Tynsong) is the best person to comment (on that).”

Having said that, Lyngdoh however reiterated that the verdict of 2023 has to be respected and said, “That verdict gave NPP 26 constituencies which is why they could not form a government on their own and that same verdict gave the UDP 11 seats and it is a verdict when you analyse the election results, you have to analyse it sector wise. So the Garo sector voted mainly in favour of the NPP and the Khasi-Jaintia sector voted mainly for a regional party, the UDP with 11 seats. So when you combine the two sectors then the MDA 2 came into existence.”

Lyngdoh also downplayed when asked if the NPP has approached the UDP for a possible merger by saying, “Even the UDP can also approach the NPP to merge with us. Where is the harm? Let them merge with us, why should we merge with them.”

Expressing confidence to win the Sohiong seat, Lyngdoh said, “We are comfortable as a party because in the last House we had 6 MLAs. This time if we manage Sohiong we will double the tally. It will be a 50% increase in the tally of the UDP. We have a very fair chance but obviously the people’s mandate will be known on May 13.”

Meanwhile, the UDP leader said that he is least bothered by the speculations that he may be dropped from the cabinet post the Sohiong election.

“A lot of people can say a lot of things. We are here to serve the interest of the state so I am one person who is least bothered by such speculations,” he stated.

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