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Candidates’ caliber matters more in winning polls: Pala

SHILLONG: Congress MP from Shillong Lok Sabha constituency, Vincent Pala maintained that winning or losing in the election was not dependent on the party but on the caliber of the candidates while informing that candidates for the party for the next year’s Assembly election were yet to be finalised.

He also said that education qualification and professional expertise in administration of aspiring poll candidates mattered. In this context, he referred to Andrew Shullai (MBA), George Lyngdoh (Engineer), Jopthiaw Lyngdoh and Himalaya Shangpliang (both IAS officers).

Shullai will contest from Jowai in place of RC Laloo who has bowed out of the election race, George and Jopthiaw will replace Congress rebels Ngaitlang Dhar (Umroi LAC) and Sniawbhalang (Nartiang LAC) respectively and Shangpliang will replace suspended Congress MLA P.N. Syiem (Mawkyrwat LAC).

“We are hopeful that we will get the best candidates. The party is putting up young blood in the political scene. The power of Congress will not decline if we are well organised. It is not easy but it is not impossible,” he said.

Asserting that there are divisions in the opposition parties, he said that the Congress would retain power in 2018 although he maintained that he would “not declare in the streets” on the number of seats the party would get.

As for party’s star campaigners, Pala said that it was upto the party to elect star campaigners while he automatically becomes a star campaigner by virtue of him being an MP.

Pala informed that the commencement of election campaign was in the process although it was a bit delayed as Rahul Gandhi would take over as Congress president on Saturday. Subsequently, the party will form its manifesto committee, campaign committee etc.

Commenting on money power, Pala recalled that late Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) leader, Hoping Lyngdoh won the elections due to the love of the people and not due to money.

“Winning elections by using money power is just a perception. It does not mean that money will win. I have not seen any seat being won with the use of money,” he said.

He also spoke about “new entrants” in the state like the National People’s Party (NPP), BJP and People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and he did not deny the growing influence of the BJP in the state as the party has made substantial enrollment.

As for the NPP, he cited the example of the collapse of the party state administration and in the district council when it was in power. “It is up to the people to decide,” he said.





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