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LS Polls 2024: Battle of 2 regional forces- RDA and VPP in Shillong parliamentary seat

First Published: 18th March, 2024 18:45 IST

While RDA has fielded Robert June Kharjahrin from the seat, Ricky A J Syngkon will be in the fray for the Voice of the People's Party (VPP)

The tone is set for the battle of prestige from the Shillong Lok Sabha seat as the contest is expected to be a multi-cornered fight.

While Congress will be looking at continuing its 26 year-old winning streak since 1998 to 2024, the NPP, BJP and regional forces – Regional Democratic Alliance (RDA) formed by UDP and HSPDP, and VPP too will throw their hats in the ring.

While RDA has fielded Robert June Kharjahrin from the seat, Ricky A J Syngkon will be in the fray for the Voice of the People’s Party (VPP).

With electioneering already picking pace, both the RDA and the VPP candidates are also reaching out to the people on issues with regional sentiments.

RDA candidate Robert June Kharjahrin spoke exclusively to Northeast Live and spoke about the party’s poll preparedness, it’s agenda as well as the prospects in the election.

At first, Kharjahrin in terms of the preparedness said, “I think we have been preparing for this poll 3 to 4 months back from now, we are in full swing and we do hope that we will give all our energy for the next one month. We hope that we will do well in this election and we will go with belief, with that confidence we will be able to win this election.”

The RDA candidate’s response was also sought on as to why the voters should vote in his favour. According to Kharjahrin it is high time that the voters replace the national party (Congress) and substitute it with a regional party (RDA).

Robert June Kharjahrin said, “RDA is a coalition of two regional parties, I do feel that it is high time that the people of the Shillong parliamentary seat send a regional party to Delhi to air their voices and concern in the Parliament. The people of the Shillong parliamentary have already sent for 35 years a MP from the national party. I feel this is the right time that people should substitute (national party) by a regional party, because most of the pending issues in Parliament is all linked to regional issues- be it ILP, be it the border issue or the inclusion of Khasi and Garo language in the 8th Schedule, the demand for a separate cadre in civil service. All these are very much linked to the regional issue, so I do really feel that if people really want to see that these issues are settled once and for all, the regional party must be voted for an MP.”

Kharjahrin speaking about his winning prospects said, “We have two regional parties- RDA and VPP in the context of vote share. In context of numbers of MLAs and MDCs that we (RDA) have, I feel that we have a much better chance to win this election. I do believe that the people in the Shillong parliamentary constituency will choose RDA in this election.”

On the other hand, VPP candidate Ricky A J Syngkon also exuded confidence of a good show in the election and believes that his party will be able to bring a decisive change.

Speaking to Northeast Live, Syngkon said, “You have seen VPP was the first party to announce the candidature of the MP candidate that happens to be me, so we are moving from place to place and we are doing good.

The very reason that the VPP came is because of the fact that we need change, that is why this party is new, a party with a vision to revive, restore and transform Meghalaya on the basis of principles of clean governance, decisive leadership and protecting the rights of the people of the state.”

In terms of strength in the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, the RDA has a combined strength of 14 MLAs (UDP 12 and HSPDP). Worth mentioning the UDP is the key alliance partner of the NPP in the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA). The HSPDP too is an MDA constituent.

The VPP has 4 MLAs in the Assembly.

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