NCP will not support Cong in LS Polls

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Shillong, Sep 24: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has decided not to support the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections in Meghalaya, but instead lend support to the nominee of its ally United Democratic Party (UDP).

Likewise, the UDP would support the NCP nominee for the Tura Lok Sabha seat.

''We will support the UDP candidate and also expect the BJP not to field any candidate for the Shillong seat and support the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) coalition's nominee,'' state NCP president Dr W Kharlukhi said.

The Shillong seat is a Congress bastion which the party has retained for many terms. The seat is being represented by Union Tribal Affairs Minister and senior Congressman P R Kyndiah.

The Tura seat has been a stronghold of NCP leader and State Planning Board Chairman PA Sangma. The seat has been won by his youngest daughter Agatha Sangma after Mr Sangma quit it this year to fight the Assembly elections.

The BJP has however, recently indicated that it was keen to field its own candidate for the Shillong seat.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had fielded candidates for both the seats and lost by huge margins.

Dr Kharlukhi added it would be ''practical'' for the BJP not to field its candidate for either the Shillong or Tura seats. ''It will only benefit the Congress if the BJP puts up its candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats,'' the NCP chief said.

''The NCP will try and convince the BJP to support a consensual candidate of the MPA coalition in both the Lok Sabha seats,'' he said BJP leader and its Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani, meanwhile, will be arriving here on September 29 as part of the 'Sankalp Yatra' and try to find a consensus candidate to be fielded in both the seats.

UNI

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