In Meghalaya, ally UDP to contest bypoll against CM Conrad Sangma

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GUWAHATI: United Democratic Party (UDP), which is part of the ruling coalition in Meghalaya, has decided to field a candidate against Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, adding a new twist to the bypoll for the South Tura assembly seat.

UDP general secretary Utzol Sangma said Friday that the decision was taken unanimously at a meeting of the party.”There was no agreement between UDP and Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) partners about the UDP not fielding any candidate,” he said.

The seat was recently vacated by National People’s Party (NPP) MLA Agatha Sangma so that her brother Conrad – currently also a Member of Parliament from Tura – could be elected to the Assembly within six months of being sworn in as chief minister.

The BJP, which is another partner in the ruling MDA, has also hinted it would field a candidate in South Tura. BJP minister AL Hek said recently that the party should focus on South Tura instead of Ranikor which has also fallen vacant with the resignation of its Congress MLA.

Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong however sounded confident that Sangma will win from South Tura.

“We are ready and there is nothing to worry as far as Ranikor and South Tura by-polls are concerned,” he said adding that NPP will request its allies to support Sangma