Congress to contest alone in Meghalaya assembly elections

Shillong: The ruling Congress in Meghalaya will contest next year's assembly elections on its own, with opposition parties like the UDP and NPP, which have spoken of an alliance not entering into any pact as yet.

"We have been doing it in the past ... the Congress is going alone this time also," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told PTI here today.

Confident of securing a clear mandate, Sangma said, "Time has come for the state to have a government that is led by a single major political party."

Left with just two legislators in its fold, the NCP though said it wanted a pre-poll alliance with the Congress as in Maharashtra and at the Centre.

Party NE Central Observer Robert Kharshiing said the central leadership was open to such a deal with the Congress in Meghalaya and in the North East.

On the other hand, no deal has been struck till date between Congress coalition partner, United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition National People's Party (NPP) which expressed openness to a pre-poll alliance.

The UDP said it was observing the political moves of other parties before taking a final decision.

"The issue was taken up at the last CEC meeting but it was inconclusive as there were views which for and against which needed to be examined. However the exercise will continue before we collectively take a final call," UDP working president Paul Lyngdoh said.