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United Democratic Party (UDP), one of the largest regional political parties in Meghalaya, announced its first list of 32 candidates for the upcoming 2023 assembly elections in the state on December 6.

The UDP is the main ally of the National People’s Party (NPP)-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government.

Seven sitting legislators are among the names of candidates announced by UDP supremo and assembly speaker Metbah Lyngdoh, who will seek re-election from Mairang constituency – during a meeting held at the party’s office in Shillong.

The list approved by the state election committee (SEC) includes three cabinet ministers – Kyrmen Shylla (Khliehriat), Lahkmen Rymbui (Amlarem) and Brolding Nongsiej (Mawthadraishan) and three sitting legislators – Nujorki Sungoh (Mookaiaw), Balajied Kupar Synrem (Shella), Pius Marwein (Ranikor).

The UDP has also allotted tickets to five sitting MDCs of the two autonomous district councils (ADCs) which include KHADC chief Titosstarwell Chyne (Sohra), Executive Members – Paul Lyngdoh (West Shillong) and Mitchel Wankhar (Mylliem) and two JHADC MDCs – Dawan Lyngdoh (Nartiang), Treilang Suchiang (Raliang).

Four former MLAs – HDR Lyngdoh (Sohiong), Jemino Mawthoh (Nongthymmai), Luderberth Ch Momin (Kharkutta), Remington Pyngrope (Mawkynrew) and former JHADC chief Moonlight Pariat (Jowai) were also granted tickets by the party.

The UDP is also fielding two doctors including former director of health services (DHS) Dr Aman War (North Shillong) and Dr Osaphi Smithson Jyrwa (Mawryngkneng) and former government officials that include former PWD executive engineer Baiahunang Makdoh (Mawhati), ex-serviceman Taposh D Marak (Resubelpara) and former assistant director, agriculture Olan Singh Suin (Mawsynram).

There are also two social workers – Anthony Khongwang (Pynursla) and Rakkam Ch Marak (Bajengdoba).

The other candidates include Badhok Nongmalieh (Jirang), Sunshine Makri (Umsning), Polestar Nongsiej (Nongstoin) Subroto G Marak (Mendipathar), Andreash G Momin (Rongjeng), Ronald Rikman Sangma (Salmanpara), Kennethson R Sangma (Dalu) and Ashahel D Shira (Rajabala).

Not a single woman candidate “has applied” for a ticket of the United Democratic Party (UDP) for the upcoming 2023 Meghalaya assembly poll.

After felicitating all the candidates, Metbah Lyngdoh said there is a growing need for a strong-independent political alternative, which could stand up for the aspirations of the people of the state.

In politics, regionalism is an ideology that highlights the local identity, the need for independent regional planning and administrative freedom, he also said.

“I feel there is scope for a regional political party in the state to fulfil the dreams of the youth and the need of the people of Meghalaya, which the national parties have failed in doing so,” Lyngdoh further said.

He also claimed: “In UDP, we have no high command and no big boss culture, political arrogance to stop us from thinking about the state. That is why a section of people, who are associated with these national parties have now joined the UDP.”

Referring to the MDA government, the UDP chief said: “In the government that we are today, our role is nonetheless like a team to look after the welfare of the people of the state and we have been able to save the state from losing its good image.”

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