Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit on Tuesday resigned as the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) President owing moral responsibility of the party’s defeat in the just-concluded elections to the 10th Meghalaya Assembly.
His resignation came after two winning party MLAs defied HSPDP’s decision not to support the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition government if Conrad K Sangma, who is not an elected MLA, is made the Chief Minister.
Basaiawmoit had a bitter experience as the party candidate and leader, as he lost to former MLA Lambor Malngiang by a narrow margin of 76 votes only in the Nongkrem constituency, the seat which had been holding since 2008.
The party’s three other sitting MLAs– PK Pangniang, Witting Mawsor and Diosstarness Jyndiang – also lost the Assembly polls 2018 from Rambrai-Jyrngam, Mawshynrut and Nongstoiñ constituencies respectively.
In his resignation letter addressed to the HSPDP vice president, Basaiawmoit said, “I owe moral responsibility as a leader for being unable to take the party to achieve the goal.”
Referring to the two MLAs, who defying the HSPDP’s decision not to support the NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) coalition government extended support to the new government, Basaiawmoit said, “It is of no meaning to lead the party when as a party, we cannot reign in our own MLAs.”
Basaiawmoit told media persons that he did not expect that the UDP would propose the name of Conrad Sangma. “It is not the job of the UDP to advise NPP on the matter and we would love to have an elected MLA from the NPP becoming the Chief Minister,” said Basaiawmoit.
Basaiawmoit, who wanted former minister Prestone Tynsong to the CM, claimed, “We would like to see an elected NPP MLA as the chief minister especially when the party itself had announced the name of Prestone Tynsong earlier.” The outgoing HSPDP president chief said, “It will be a betrayal to the people of Meghalaya if Tynsong is not made CM as the NPP had declared him as the CM candidate and Tynsong also left the Congress with that hope.”
The HSPDP that fielded as many as 13 candidates including four sitting legislators, managed to win only two seats from Sohïong and Mawkyrwat through Samlin Malngiang and Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar.
Samlin has been inducted as a minister of the Conrad K Sangma-led government on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Samlin and Renikton told media persons that they decided to support the coalition government led by the NPP and cannot come out since they have also already given their commitment.
The HSPDP and UDP formed a pre-poll alliance and came under the Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) while contesting the Assembly polls 2018.
“When we discussed with our party president, he had verbally told us to remain with the RDA. Since we are part of the alliance we thought that we can go together with the UDP and support the coalition-led by the NPP,” said Renikton.
In the same tune, Samlin said that as MLAs of the party, they would resolve the issues within the party, as it was only a misunderstanding.