Meghalaya needs single party for development : UDP

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Nongpoh, Feb 16 (UNI) Former Meghalaya Chief Minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) leader E K Mawlong has appealed to the electorate to vote for a single party to run the state, instead of a coalition government.

The people must vote either for a strong regional or national party for the state's overall development, Mr Mawlong told reporters here after scrutinising his nomination papers.

Lashing out at the mushrooming of the small regional parties in Meghalaya, Mr Mawlong, the former Assembly speaker, said smaller regional parties like the Meghalaya Democratic Party (MDP), Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) have 'no political future.' ''Martle Mukhim (MDP President) is a lone ranger, while Hopingstone Lyngdoh (HSPDP President) has been elected for the past thirty odd years from Nongstoin, West Khasi Hills, but there has been no development there with these mushrooming parties,'' Mr Mawlong claimed.

He, further, said, these parties lacked 'far-sightedness' and 'only make tall promises.' The former Chief Minister is contesting from Umroi constituency on a UDP ticket.

Mr Mawlong, who was forced to quit his Chief Minister's post in 2001, following the Kolkata Meghalaya House controversy, added that a fractured mandate this time would again stall development and stability in Meghalaya.

Lambasting the Congress-led MDA government over non-performance in the past five years of its rule, Mr Mawlong said, the government achieved nothing other than organising 'dance and music shows.

The UDP has fielded 52 candidates for this Assembly election.

Mr Mawlong exuded confidence that UDP would wrest all the four seats of Ri-Bhoi district from the Congress this time.

Mr Mawlong along with former Chief Minister JD Rymbai (Jirang), Celestine Lyngdoh (Nongpoh) and Donbok Khymdeit (Mawhati) are the UDP candidates from this district.

Chief Minister D D Lapang is seeking re-election from Nongpoh constituency.

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