SHILLONG, DEC 6: United Democratic Party (UDP) on Tuesday announced its first list of candidates, who will fight from 32 constituencies in the upcoming Assembly elections.
After declaring and felicitating all the candidates, UDP president Metbah Lyngdoh said there is a growing need for a strong-independent political alternative, which could stand up for the aspirations of the people of the state.
In politics, regionalism is an ideology that highlights the local identity, the need for independent regional planning and administrative freedom.
“I feel there is scope for a regional political party in the state to fulfil the dreams of the youth and the needs of the people of Meghalaya, which the national parties have failed in doing so,” Lyngdoh said.
He also said, “In UDP, we have no high command and no big boss culture, political arrogance to stop us from thinking about the state. That is why a section of people, who are associated with these national parties have now joined the UDP.”
He said the state of Meghalaya has always seen national parties dominating the political landscape of this North Eastern state. Unlike the other states like Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim where regional parties rule the roost, the UDP that was founded by late EK Mawlong is a bigger player here.
The UDP chief said, “In the government that we are today, our role is nonetheless like a team to look after the welfare of the people of the state and we have been able to save the state from losing its good image.”
In the previous election, he said the party managed to hold on to its strongholds and win a respectable number of seats but it was not enough to form a government on its own as the regional party is limited only to a few pockets.
“We hope that this 2023, people will give us the mandate since in many pockets, the people of the state are in search of an independent political voice of their own,” he said.
Stating that many see UDP as a political alternative in Meghalaya, Lyngdoh said, “There is a political vacuum to be filled but the party has not been able to convince the voters and present itself as a viable political choice for them. I strongly believe that only a regional party can develop our state, stand against injustice meted out to the state and stand up for its language and culture.”
“If the states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bengal and Odisha can have their own regional parties why not Meghalaya, and we pledge that we will do anything for the poor and the marginalised of the state,” he said.
The 32 candidates include : Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh (Mairang), cabinet ministers: Kyrmen Shylla (Khliehriat), Lahkmen Rymbui (Amlarem) and Brolding Nongsiej (Mawthadraishan), sitting MLAs: Nujorki Sungoh (Mookaiaw), Balajied Kupar Synrem (Shella), Pius Marwein (Ranikor), MDCs: KHADC CEM, Titosstarwell Chyne (Sohra), EMs Paul Lyngdoh (West Shillong) and Mitchel Wankhar (Mylliem), JHADC MDCs – Dawan Lyngdoh (Nartiang) and Treilang Suchiang (Raliang), former JHADC CEM Moonlight Pariat (Jowai), former MLAs: HDR Lyngdoh (Sohiong), Jemino Mawthoh (Nongthymmai), Luderberth Ch Momin (Kharkutta), Remington Pyngrope (Mawkynrew), former govt officials: former PWD Executive Engineer Baiahunang Makdoh (Mawhati), ex-service man Taposh D Marak (Resubelpara), former assistant director, Agriculture Olan Singh Suin (Mawsynram), MBBS and former DHS Dr Aman War (North Shillong), MBBS Dr Osaphi Smithson Jyrwa (Mawryngkneng), Badhok Nongmalieh (Jirang), Sunshine Makri (Umsning), Polestar Nongsiej (Nongstoin) Subroto G Marak (Mendipathar), Andreash G Momin (Rongjeng), Ronald Rikman Sangma (Salmanpara), Kennethson R Sangma (Dalu) and Ashahel D Shira (Rajabala), Anthony Khongwang (Pynursla) and Rakkam Ch Marak (Bajengdoba).