SHILLONG, FEB 6: Former deputy chief minister Bindo M Lanong on Monday said the United Democratic Party (UDP) has a very “bleak prospect” as it will not even get 10 seats in the upcoming assembly elections, to be held on February 27.
The chief adviser of the UDP filed his nomination as Independent candidate from Nongkrem constituency after he was denied ticket by his party. The UDP had decided to allot a ticket to the sitting legislator of Nongkrem Lambor Malngiang.
Lanong told reporters that it was “wishful thinking” on the part of the UDP to claim that the chief minister will be from the party.
“I had earlier said they would not even cross 10 according to my estimation. So the question of reaching that goal that the UDP CM will lead the government, I think it is a pipe dream,” he said.
Stating that he is an original UDP, Lanong however said that he is contesting as independent as he was deprived of his rights after business people came into politics.
“This is what our forefathers like BB Lyngdoh said no business people should not be encouraged to join politics. It prove true this time when a businessman has come to UDP as president of the party, everything has changed,” he said adding “I have no scam in my life, I have contributed a lot for the development of the state and the people and I am ignored and the ticket has been allotted to a person who is not even in the UDP, who has never been in the UDP before. So everyone is shocked.”
When asked about his party wanting him to contest from East Shillong, Lanong said, “Anybody who says that let them go and try. I don’t know why they didn’t even have a candidate after I left. Well I have nothing to do with the UDP as of now. I have a candidate as of now if I want to but how can I propose or work for that constituency to have a UDP candidate. I am ignored. I am not in UDP anymore. It is not that I left the UDP but I am thrown out.”
He further claimed if he was given a ticket in the UDP, the party would have been able to win 12 to 15 seats as there will be more attraction.
“However, many UDP members are not happy and are shocked but they can’t express it as long as the election is not over,” he said. The veteran leader also reiterated that he will return to the UDP after the elections are over.
On the failure of the MDA partners to pull out of the government despite making allegations of corruption, Lanong said, “Everybody knows that corruption is there and after criticizing and yet they continue to remain there then you know why. It goes without saying (that they are hand in glove in all these corruption practices).”
Expressing confidence to win the Nongkrem seat, Lanong said that he has been going to the constituency for the last one year.
He also assured to change the lives of the farmers and economy of the constituency if elected as MLA.
“They (farmers) have been so poor, ignored, neglected, now I am going to take up a challenge to address their plight and development their economy from what it is, they are in shambles, I don’t why all these years no one has even gone to give them a helping hand, ideas as to how they should improve their livelihood and all that. After I have gone to these areas people are expressing full of hope that with my going there I am really going to change the economy and lives of the people.”
Speaking about the use of money power, Lanong said a complaint has been filed with the Election Commission against the distribution of blankets and distribution of money right in front of a police station in the constituency.
“Not only from our group but other parties have also filed against those people who have been distributing money openly, flagrantly without any care and respect for the law,” he added.