SHILLONG | June 15, 2019:

The United Democratic Party (UDP) has blamed the issue of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the link with the BJP for their defeat of the party in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls from Shillong Parliamentary seat.

“We have made an in-depth analysis on where the party has gone wrong. Finally, we have come to the conclusion that the issue of CAB and link with the BJP have created havoc on the party’s performance in the recent MP election,” said UDP working president, Jemino Mawthoh while talking to reporters after the Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting of the party here on Friday evening.

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Analysing the figures and voting pattern, Mawthoh, who was the MP candidate of the UDP from the Shillong seat, said that the party’s vote bank was higher compared to the Congress in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region since they got 2,67,000 plus vote. He said that the Congress got around 2,69,000 in 2018 Assembly polls while they got only 2,35,000 in this year’s district council elections in the KHADC and JHADC.

Informing that the Congress’ vote bank was 48 percent in the 2009 Lok Sabba polls,  he said that the vote bank of the Congress dipped to 33 % in the 2014 MP elections.

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“But shockingly the vote bank of the Congress went up from 33 percent in 2014 to 53 percent in the recent Lok Sabha polls in Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The increase in the voting percentage of the Congress is largely due to the issue of CAB and our party’s link with the BJP,” UDP working president said.

When asked why the party is still aligning with the BJP, he said that this is the age of coalition Government. “Except the BJP which got a clear mandate at the Centre, most of the States in the country are having coalition Government. The fact is that majority of the party has lost the national status as they failed to get an absolute mandate,” the UDP working president said.

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He, however, stressed on the need of having a good relation between the Centre and the State Government adding that this can only happen if the party leading the Government in the State shares a good relation with the party leading the Government at the Centre.

“For the sake of stability, we are left with no option but to work with parties with different ideologies. We all know that the ideologies of the national parties like the BJP and Congress are different from the ideologies of the regional forces,” Mawthoh said.

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When asked whether the Congress is trying to forge an alliance with other parties to form the Government in Meghalaya, UDP working president said that the Congress finds it difficult to stay in Opposition since they have been in power for so long.

“That is why they are trying level best to get the support of other parties to form the Government. But this will not materialise as of now. The MDA coalition Government will try to work hard in the next four years in order to consolidate its position,” he said.

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When asked if there are feelers from the Congress MLAs to join the UDP, he said that if they want to join the party they are always welcome.

“But it is true that the Congress had tried to reach the party MLAs to work together and form the new Government in Meghalaya,” Mawthoh added.


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