Shillong, Nov 21: The United Democratic Forum (UDF) on Thursday was formed by MDCs of the Congress, Independents, a faction of the National People’s Party (NPP), and the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC).
The UDF in its meeting held on Wednesday has also unanimously elected four-time Independent MDC from Nongthymmai, Latiplang Kharkongor as its parliamentary party leader and candidate for the election to the post of CEM to be held on Friday.
The election is necessitated after the UDP-led United Democratic Alliance (UDA) executive committee was defeated in the No-confidence motion held on Wednesday. The No-confidence motion was moved by the opposition Congress.
The EC collapsed after KHADC Chairman also an NPP MDC, P.N. Syiem voted for the No-confidence motion. While the UDA-led EC secured 14 votes, the opposition Congress got 15 votes with the support of the Syiem, two other NPP MDCs and one PDF member.
Infact, the opposition has only 10 members, nine Congress, and one Independent.
Speaking to reporters after filing his nomination papers for the CEM post, Latiplang said he welcomed the decision of the UDF and exuded confidence that he would win the election for the CEM post.
He said that all 15 MDCs of the UDF are intact. “Our door is always open for those who want to support us to form the new EC,” he said.
Latiplang said the members felt that he is fit to be the CEM candidate considering his experiences and performances. “I have held almost all the departments including Trade. As the then EM in-charge Trade, I have also issued a notification to stop issuing fresh trading licenses but it was later denotified,” he claimed.
He also said that it was during his time that the KHADC had taken a tough stand with regards to the issue related to uranium mining.
On the reason for the Congress not fielding candidate for the CEM election despite being in majority in the Forum, Leader of opposition, Lamphrang Blah said that the party was abiding by the unanimous decision taken by members of the newly formed alliance.
“It is not that we do not have leaders, but we respect the arrangement of the forum. Besides, we also feel that Latiplang is the capable leader,” he said.