People’s Democratic Front (PDF) leader P N Syiem on Thursday convened a meeting with leaders of various political parties based in Ranikor constituency to prepare his ground and establish himself as their “common candidate” for the upcoming by-elections to the Assembly seat.
Syiem who represented Mawsynram constituency for ten years (2008-2018) was defeated by bureaucrat-turned politician, Himalaya M Shangpliang from the constituency in the Assembly elections this year.
Syiem is now only an MDC from Mawsynram constituency in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council. The Mawsynram MDC is leading an Executive Committee as the Chief Executive Member (CEM).
After the meeting in Shillong Club here, Syiem told reporters that the majority voice from leaders of different parties in Ranikor constituency, favoured the idea of projecting a common candidate for the upcoming by-election.
Syiem claimed that leaders of political parties from Ranikor which include the BJP, former NPP leaders who had supported NPP candidate, Donkupar Massar in the last Assembly election, as well some leaders of the United Democratic Party and Congress attended the meeting convened by the PDF.
“The unanimous voice was to have a combined team and the meeting agreed to have a common candidate for the upcoming by-poll to Ranikor constituency,” Syiem said.
Asked if he would be projected as the candidate, Syiem said that he was ready to join the fray.
“I am ready to be the candidate but before choosing the common candidate, there will be more consultative meetings in four main areas of the constituency – Rangthong, Wahkaji, Nongjri and Ranikor,” Syiem, who is the Chairman of the PDF said.
PDF which has four MLAs, is supporting the MDA government led by the NPP.
To a question that fielding a common candidate by various parties does not arise since the NPP and UDP would put up their own candidate for the by-poll, Syiem said, “This move to project a common candidate is possible since the support is coming from leaders of political parties at the grassroot level of the constituency. We are going from the ground not from the top.”
The Ranikor Assembly seat has fallen vacant after senior Congress MLA Martin M Danggo resigned as MLA on June 21.
Danggo is joining the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) and will contest the upcoming by-election on NPP ticket.
Danggo resigned as MLA and left the Congress after Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma who is leading the coalition Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has announced the upgrading of Ranikor Administrative Unit into a Civil Sub Division.
On the demand to create Civil Sub Division in Ranikor and other places including Mawsynram, the former Mawsynram MLA termed the demand a “hurried move.”
“We should not be in hurry in making such demand even though Mawsynram deserves. Just because somebody is buying a TV, it does not mean that everybody will also have to buy it,” Syiem while criticizing the present Congress MLA Himalaya Shangpliang for demanding to make Mawsynram a Civil Sub Division like Ranikor.
“Why did he not constitute a committee immediately after winning the Assembly polls to push for the demand for Mawsynram Civil Sub Division?” Syiem questioned.