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From Our Correspondent, TNT News | Tura, July 12, 2018:
It looks like the alliance between the National People's Party (NPP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) is restricted only to policy making at the government-level but when it comes to capturing power and winning seats, the UDP is not about to seat back and become a mere spectators.
Setting the cat amongst the pigeons, the UDP, after a meeting between the leaders from Garo Hills, came up with a consensus to field a candidate from the South Tura seat against the CM, Conrad Sangma representing the NPP.
This was probably not the first strike; the regional party will also likely field a candidate for the Ranikor bypoll to contest against NPP's Martin M Danggo.
The decision to field a candidate was apparently taken yesterday after a meeting between the leaders at the residence of BG Momin, president of UDP – Garo Hills at Bangsi Apal in North Garo Hills. The top leadership of the party, including the working president, Linden Momin and the general secretary, Utzol Sangma were the attendees amongst others.
The South Tura seat fell vacant after the resignation of Agatha Sangma to allow her brother to contest from the seat in an effort to ensure he remains the CM as is necessitated.
Speaking on the decision to field a candidate against the CM, Utzol said, "The decision was unanimous and the candidate we are going to put up will be a big surprise as he is a very popular figure."
Sangma further added that, "There was no such agreement between the UDP and MDA partners about the UDP not being able to field a candidate for South Tura."
"It may be a surprise to many but we are confident of winning the upcoming bye-election for South Tura. We have a different identity and we have to maintain it. We have observed that the people of the state want that regional parties rule and we want to be able to live up to the people's mandate," said working president, Linden Momin.
The UDP's decision to field a candidate against the CM may just set the ball rolling for others within the MDA set up to also take a similar plunge. How far their decision will hurt the NPP will have to wait until the announcement of election – expected to be sometime between August and September.