SHILLONG, July 6 - The main Opposition party in Meghalaya, the United Democratic Party (UDP), with eight legislators is seemingly keeping all its alliance options open to form a government next year.
The UDP is keeping political parties guessing after attending the UPA�s presidential candidate Meira Kumar�s meeting here on Wednesday.
Kumar told the mediapersons that UDP president Donkupar Roy, who attended the meeting along with Meghalaya legislators, has extended his support for her candidature.
But, hours later, Roy said that he didn�t make any such promise, but merely attended the meeting out of courtesy to the Presidential candidate of the UPA. He added that the party will attend the NDA�s Presidential nominee, Ram Nath Kovind�s meeting tomorrow here to seek support from the State legislators.
Interestingly, the UDP�s pre-poll alliance partner for the 2018 Assembly polls, the Hill State People�s Democratic Party, stayed away from the meeting with Kumar.
The HSPDP has four MLAs in the 60-memeber Meghalaya Assembly and is still undecided if they would attend the meeting with Kovind tomorrow. The National People�s Party, a constituent of the NDA, is, meanwhile, busy preparing for Kovind�s meeting with MLAs, MPs.
Earlier, the UDP was seen teaming up with the NDA, however, after the controversy over the �beef ban�, the UDP seems to have had developed cold feet. Until recently, the UDP was part of the NDA-constituted North East Democratic Alliance and claims still to be a part of it.
In the past, the UDP shared power with both the Congress and regional parties such as the Nationalist Congress Party (now National People�s Party) led by Late PA Sangma in the State.
In 2009, the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance Government led by the NCP and the UDP collapsed after the UDP walked out of it and joined hands with the Congress to form the government.
Such unpredictable and factionalism is nothing new and Meghalaya politics is infamous for it. Be it the Congress, which has ruled the State for the maximum number of terms, the regional parties are also known for changing sides opportunistically.
Under the present circumstances, it would not come as a surprise if the Congress manages to form the government supported by the regional parties such as the UDP, despite anti-incumbency.