Cong shaken & stirred?

Opp says party has all reasons to be nervous for 2018 polls

SHILLONG: Has the BJP’s performance in the Assembly polls shaken the Congress in Meghalaya before the 2018 Assembly elections?
The political fraternity in the State was abuzz after the results of the Assembly elections in five states were announced and several local leaders were of the opinion that the Congress has ample reasons to be nervous.
BJP national spokesperson and in charge Meghalaya Nalin Kohli slammed the State government for poor development and corruption and said BJP will make a full attempt to form a non-Congress government in Meghalaya.
He said the party has swept Assam and it even formed government in Arunachal Pradesh, besides the party’s sizeable presence in Manipur at present.
“BJP is steadily expanding in the North East and this is based on the prime minister’s vision and concern that the region must develop and this is the reason that stalled projects are being fast tracked followed by frequent visits of ministers. This is the reason that most people are recognising and voting for us,” he added.
Buoyed by the impressive performance in Manipur, NPP leader James Sangma said the result is an indication of what is in store for Meghalaya in 2018 as the party is the Congress’s arch rival in Garo Hills.
However, Cabinet minister and senior Congress leader Deborah Marak downplayed the speculations and said, “If BJP has won in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Congress has performed well in three states, including Manipur.”
The Congress has won 28 of the 60 seats in Manipur while BJP has clinched 21. The majority mark is 31 and BJP has all the reasons to smile as from zero seats it has won 21 at one go.
UDP working president Bindo M. Lanong asserted that the Congress “will be definitely nervous since it is its worst performance in UP, the birthplace of the party”.
“It is definitely a setback for the Congress,” he added.
Deborah, however, defended saying the Congress-SP duo could not do well in   Uttar Pradesh due to many reasons and BJP took advantage of it.
Reacting to a query, the minister said BJP may have opened an account in Manipur but “Meghalaya is far different from Manipur”.
Lanong too is of the view that BJP will take some time to make its presence felt in the region, but at the same breath he said it is not a good time for the Congress. “I think it is a good chance for regional parties to prove themselves in the State,” he added.

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