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By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong, July 11, 2018:
In another turn of events in the political landscape in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), PDF MDC from Nongshkhen, Grace Mary Kharpuri filed her nomination for the post of the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Council with the support of the Congress MDCs.
The decision of Kharpuri has shocked the MDCs of the Khasi Hills Democratic Alliance (KHDA) since only yesterday she was amongst the 17 MDCs who took the decision to nominate NPP MDC from Nongkrem, Hispreaching Son Shylla as the 'consensus candidate' for the CEM post of the newly formed alliance.
The decision to nominate Shylla came after the resignation of PDF Chief, PN Syiem, who quit the post of CEM without facing the no confidence motion brought against him.
Interestingly, Kharpuri today morning had come along with the MDCs of the KHDA, in the same vehicle, to accompany Shylla in the filing of the nomination for the CEM post.
Shylla thought that it would be smooth sailing for him but to everybody's surprise, Kharpuri also filed her nomination. While Shylla is the nominee of the KHDA for the post of CEM, Kharpuri is the People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) nominee for the top post of the KHADC.
Speaking to media persons after filing his nominations Shylla said that he was surprised by the sudden turn of events. "Yesterday we decided that we are united, all 17 of us, including Grace Mary Kharpuri. When I reached the office of the Secretary of the KHADC to file my nomination, I thought she was accompanying us (KHDA). But I learnt that she will be filing her nomination as a PDF member," Shylla said.
He stated that till yesterday she was talking about the high-handedness of the previous EC led by Syiem and the MDCs were victimized by him "but today she is on his side".
Shylla also said that when the KHDA met on Tuesday afternoon, Kharpuri did not project herself as the CEM. "If she had made her stand clear on Tuesday itself then there might have been a discussion, because we want the EC to last since there are many issues pending before the House," the KHDA's nominee for the post of CEM said.
On Tuesday, during the meet of the KHDA to choose their leader, the names of four members came up — Shylla (NPP), Manstudy Nongrem (HSPDP), Neil Antonio War and Teiñwell Dkhar both of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
Reacting to this sudden change in stance, UDP MDC, Antonio War blasted the Congress for changing their stance overnight. "The Congress yesterday gave its letter of support to the KHDA but today morning they withdrew it and supported Kharpuri," he said. "The Congress MDCs are opportunists. They go wherever is profitable," War added.
Clarifying her stand, Kharpuri stated that she decided to leave the KHDA overnight because she has seen that there was already a division in the alliance over the choice of CEM.
"There was division between the UDP and the NPP on the choice of the CEM. After the resignation of PN Syiem we thought we would get a consensus leader but in the alliance there were already two-three contenders for the post," Kharpuri informed.
"Instead, at the meet, they wanted to go for a secret voting to choose our leader. This put doubts into my mind that if there was a secret voting, we are already divided," she added.
According to her, if the KHDA already had the numbers to form the EC, the need of the hour was stability but such a thing was not to be seen while choosing the alliance's nominee for the top post.
Kharpuri stated that the MDCs of the Council in six months time were going back to the people to seek re-election. "We still have lots of many pending issues and we should not waste our time," she added.
Therefore, according to her, "As a woman I have taken responsibility to seize the opportunity of leading the KHADC and decided to contest for the CEM's post. I request the MDCs (from KHDA) to support my candidature for the benefit of the people, because we are here not for our own interest but for their interest," Kharpuri said.
The voting to choose the next CEM of the KHADC will be held on Thursday.