UDP denies Cong’s support in assembly by-poll

Correspondent Shillong, Aug 30 | Publish Date: 8/30/2018 9:54:22 AM IST

Meghalaya Assembly Speaker and United Democratic Party (UDP) president, Donkupar Roy on Thursday denied that the victory of his party candidate Pius Marweiñ was because of opposition Congress’ support.

Marweiñ defeated five-time legislator and, Martin M. Danggo, who resigned as Congress legislator and contested on the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) ticket in the Ranikor assembly by election on August 23.

 “How can the Congress support the UDP candidate when they have their own candidate in Ranikor?  Is that the way Congress supported us by setting up candidate? The Congress got only over 900 votes from the original votes of Danggo,” Roy told journalists.

But Ranikor UDP Circle president, Bung Snaitang attributed Marweiñ’s victory to the opposition Congress.

 “We are not denying, the Congress has contributed so much to the victory of our candidate,” Snaitang had said.

Revealing that he had analysed votes polled in the Ranikor by-poll, the UDP Chief said, Danggo retained 90 percent of the original votes but our candidate could plus more than 4,000 votes from the last (State assembly) election in February.

 “Who are these 4,000 plus voters? Our candidate got maximum supporters of NPP, BJP and People’s Democratic Front in the last election. I do not know how many Congress supporters voted for us, may be small number. We do not have mutual understanding with the Congress and it is only a speculation,” Roy said.

On talks doing the rounds that the UDP may go the Karnataka way of forming government where the JD(S) combined with the Congress, Roy said,

“There is no such talk in the UDP. What we discuss is, the MDA will become stronger than before, and the MDA will continue till the end of the term, or four or five years plus may be. I do not see any change in the current set up.”

Asked if the UDP would bargain for more cabinet berth in the MDA government after winning from Ranikor, Roy said, “all MLAs are giant killers, and Marweiñ too deserves to be in the cabinet, but there are only 12 seats for ministers.”

Meanwhile, Marweiñ took oath as member of the 10th Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

Speaker Roy administered the oath to Marweiñ at his chamber in the Assembly Secretariat at Khyndai Lad here.

Deputy Speaker, Timothy D. Shira, Cabinet ministers  Sniawbhalang Dhar, Alexander Hek and members of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition government witnessed the oath taking ceremony.

The UDP, an ally of the NPP which is leading the MDA government, has eight legislators in the 60-member Assembly.

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