Meghalaya's Political Landscape Sees A Major Shift As PDF Merges With NPP

SHILLONG: 10 May 2023 (PTI Source)

The ruling National People's Party (NPP) in Meghalaya received a significant boost on Saturday as the People's Democratic Front (PDF), a regional party of the state, officially merged with it. The merger occurred at the NPP office in Lachumiere and was based on an 11-point document agreed upon by both parties. The NPP's senior leaders termed the merger a "wedding ceremony," indicating the significance of the event.

The merger of PDF with the NPP increased the ruling party's strength in the Meghalaya Assembly to 28 members out of 60, giving it a comfortable majority. This merger has also ended the journey of PDF as a political party, which was founded in 2017, just before the 2018 assembly polls. The PDF had two MLAs in the Meghalaya Assembly - Banteidor Lyngdoh (From Mawkynrew) and Gavin M Mylliem (From Sohra)- now part of the NPP.

The document of the merger was co-signed by CM & NPP National Chief Conrad Sangma and Chief of PDF Gavin M Mylliem, in the presence of other senior leaders of both parties. The merger document specified that the roster system should be implemented with prospective effect, the implementation of an Inner Line Permit (ILP), official recognition of the Khasi language, the solution to the border dispute with Assam, and improving air connectivity and power scenario as its conditions for merging.

The other points mentioned in the document included the formulation of an agriculture policy, implementation of an employment generation policy, a transparent & effective recruitment policy, reviewing the Meghalaya Minor Minerals Concession Rules 2016, improving power availability by 2028, and solving the drug menace in the state.

During the grand function held at the NPP's party office, both the PDF MLAs along with leaders of the party were felicitated. Speaking on the occasion, NPP National President Conrad Sangma said, "For the last five years, we have been romancing, and that is simply because we get along and see things from the same perspective. We have the same goals, ideas and visions for our people and our state." He also assured the people of Meghalaya that the NPP would work to achieve all the points mentioned in the merger document.

The NPP leaders hailed the merger with PDF and stated that the merger had increased the number of NPP MLAs in the assembly, and in the days to come, the numbers may even increase further. This merger is a significant development in the state's politics, as it consolidates the ruling party's position and may have far-reaching consequences for Meghalaya's political landscape.