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SHILLONG | August 11, 2019:

The MDA coalition partners are divided on the plea of the United Democratic Party (UDP) to have a consensus candidate for the bye-election to the Shella Assembly constituency.

It may be mentioned that the UDP had stated that they would appeal to the coalition partners in the MDA to examine on the possibilities of putting up a consensus candidate of the MDA for the bye-election in Shella.

The Shella Assembly seat fell vacant following the demise of Meghalaya Speaker and Shella MLA, Dr Donkupar Roy.

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“We would like the coalition partners to support the candidate of the UDP for the bye-election in Shella in respect to the Assembly Speadker, late Dr Donkupar Roy, who had represented the constituency for the seven consecutive terms,” UDP general secretary, Jemino Mawthoh said after the special CEC meeting on Friday last.

According to Mawthoh, the party however cannot prevent the coalition partners to contest the bye-election.

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When asked if the NPP would put candidate for the Shella bye-election, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, “Like I have said before, Dr. Donkupar Roy was like a father to me. However at this point of time, I cannot say anything as this issue has to be discussed first with party leaders of NPP at Shella”.

He also pointed out that what is most important is that the confidence of all the MDA parters are taken into consideration before any decision is made.

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Senior HSPDP leader, Renikton L Tongkhar is of the view that it would be good if the coalition partners agree to have a consensus candidate to show solidarity within the ruling MDA coalition.

‘I am strong view that the MDA partners should support the candidate of the UDP for the Shella bye-election. I think even the party would think on this line since we are part of the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) alongside with the UDP. But the party would meet to discuss on the bye-election before arriving on any decision,” Renikton said.

Meanwhile, NCP president, Saleng Sangma said that the MDA Coordination Committee would be the best platform to discuss on the issue of consensus candidate for the Shella bye-election.

“I would not like to comment anything from the side of the party. We need to sit and discuss. We may recall that the UDP had put candidate for the Ranikor bye election despite former MLA, Martin M Danggo’s decision to sacrifice. I am not sure whether all the coalition partners would accept the idea to have a consensus candidate,” he added.

Senior leader of People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling said that the party is yet to discuss on the bye-election for the Shella seat.

“We have only seen in the newspaper on the appeal of the UDP to have a consensus candidate. We will discuss if we receive an official communication from the UDP,” Dohling added.

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