The Congress-led opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar on Wednesday stirred a controversy claiming that Meghalaya’s opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) would be voting in her favour in the July 17 elections.
But UDP chief Donkupar Roy, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, denied pledging support to the former Lok Sabha Speaker, saying that “it is better to go by the winner”.
Apart from the legislators of the Meghalaya United Alliance government led by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Roy, along with two party legislators, had attended the address by Meira Kumar in the assembly annexe.
However, three ministers – Prestone Tynsong, Roshan Warjri, Ampareen Lyngdoh besides Congress Lok Sabha member from Shillong Vincent H. Pala and the state’s lone Rajya Sabha member Wansuk Syiem were absent.
“One thing unique which has happened here in Shillong is the ex-Chief Minister and presently Leader of Opposition has also announced that he (Roy) is supporting me and in Meghalaya, I am getting the support from both the sides,” Meira Kumar told journalists after addressing the legislators.
“They should act as an example to other states and I hope they will do that,” she said.
In her address, she said it was encouraging for her to find that the Leader of Opposition was with her.
“This is one of the rare occasion we are going to script right history otherwise the coming generation would ask us ‘why at that time when you got opportunity to challenge the ideology which was disrupting and destroying the fabric of India, didn’t you rise to the occasion’,” she said.
But Roy, whose party is a constituent of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance, said the UDP’s eight-member legislature party has not even sat to decide which presidential candidate to support.
“We have attended the meeting addressed by the opposition presidential nominee only following the fervent appeal from the Congress,” the UDP chief told IANS.
Moreover, Roy said that the party legislators would also attend the meeting which will be address by NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.
The opposition National People’s Party, which has two members in the 60-member house, had announced its support to Kovind. The party is an ally of the BJP-led NDA government.
Hill State People’s Democratic Party supremo Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit said that his party would be meeting soon to take a decision. The party has four legislators.
The ruling side has 44 members – 30 Congress, two Nationalist Congress Party, 11 Independents and one of the North East Socialist Democratic Party. Two other Independents are in the opposition.