HSPDP leader and cabinet minister Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar on Wednesday said he has not taken any decision to contest from United Democratic Party (UDP) in the 2023 Assembly elections.
“Officially, we have not discussed and there is no decision as such but as of now I am very much with the HSPDP but the only thing is that we are together in the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA),” Tongkhar told reporters.
Tongkhar was reacting to a recent claim made by the UDP leader and former deputy chief minister Bindo M Lanong that he will be contesting from the UDP in 2023 Assembly elections.
“Yes, UDP may claim that last time we supported you and this time you should stand from UDP and HSPDP will support – so this bargaining talk may be there but there is no decision as such,” he reiterated.
Stating that the UDP and HSPDP are ‘good friends’, the Mawkyrwat MLA said that Lanong’s claim is not a big thing adding “Since they supported me in the last election, I think they are right that I am ‘UDP-HSPDP MLA’.”
He also recalled the closeness of two parties during the 2018 Assembly elections in which supporters were campaigning using both the flags of the HSPDP and UDP.
“As I said, friendship has been there for a long time. Even in the 2014 MDC election, even though UDP had offered to contest but I did not, I brought a candidate Hadrian Lyngdoh to contest from UDP and we fully supported him and he won with a landslide victory,” he said.
On the other hand, the HSPDP leader asserted that he is for the strengthening of the regional parties in the state of Meghalaya.
“I am for the strengthening of the regional parties in the state. (However), I cannot say by what model (but) we will deliberate we will discuss this among colleagues and among the partners…on whether we will work together in RDA or we will have a pre-poll alliance again but my whole intention is that if we can bring together the regional force in the state,” he said.
“I have had lots of talks and discussion with (L) Dr Donkupar Roy and in my funeral speech I have expressed that it is our responsibility to fulfill and to try to follow good thoughts and steps that we have started with Dr Donkupar. So I am still focusing on that so let’s see upto what extent we can reach…we should not say others have started they fail we should not try I think there is no harm in trying so we will keep on trying,” Tongkhar added.