The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government on Wednesday exuded confidence of winning the June-19 election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat in the state.
The MDA partners have unanimously agreed to support the candidature of Dr Wanwei Roy Kharlukhi.
The support for Kharlukhi was exhibited by political parties and MLAs who are part of the MDA government during the MDA meeting on Wednesday night.
After the MDA meeting, chief minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters that all political parties and MLAs of the MDA have expressed their support for Dr Kharlukhi even as he thanked the MDA partners and MLAs for their support.
Conrad said during the meeting, training was conducted to ensure that no mistake is made during the voting and all MLAs vote correctly on the day of polling on June 19.
However, North Shillong MLA Adelbert Nongrum, who is also a part of the MDA, decided to abstain on the polling day in protest against the NPP for voting in favour of the CAA in the Lok Sabha.
Nongrum said he attended the MDA meeting only to let the MDA know regarding his stand that he would not cast his vote on June 19.
Nongrum said he cannot support the stand taken by the MDA partners, though he is part of the coalition government where he accused the NPP, which is fielding Dr Kharlukhi as the candidate, of supporting the CAA in Lok Sabha.
On Nongrum’s stand, the chief minister said as coalition partners, the decision to support Dr Kharlukhi was unanimous and termed Nongrum’s stand as his individual decision.
“Nongrum has taken his individual stand and we respect that. But as MDA partners, we all are supporting Dr Kharlukhi as candidate and we are confident of winning the election,” the chief minister said.
The opposition Congress is fielding former Mawphlang MLA, Kennedy C Khyriem as its candidate.
Asked about the opposition candidate, Conrad said no candidate or party would say that they don’t have the support or won’t win the election.
“But the writing is on the wall is clear; there’s no issue at all. We respect the opposition, and they have the right to put up the candidate and fight,” the chief minister said.
“But in this particular election, the support for Dr Kharlukhi is very clear. Once again we are thankful to all the MDA partners and we are confident of winning the election on June 19,” he added.
With Nongrum, the MDA has 41 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly and the Congress has 19 MLAs.
The election to fill up the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Meghalaya is due after the term of the current Rajya Sabha MP and Congress leader, Wansuk Syiem ended on April 12 this year.
The Rajya Sabha elections scheduled to be held on March 26 in several states have been postponed to June 19 due to the imposition of the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The elections are being conducted after few activities have been relaxed from the purview the lockdown.