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Meghalaya result to boost Cong at Centre, says ex-Kerala CM

Rahul to lead united front of democratic & secular forces for 2019 Lok Sabha polls

SHILLONG: Former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has said the election victory in Meghalaya will boost the party at the Centre.
Chandy, who is in the city to campaign for the party candidates, said on Tuesday that the Congress will retain power in Meghalaya thanks to the varied development initiatives carried out by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
The senior Congress leader and two-time chief minister of Kerala expressed unhappiness over the state of affairs under the BJP-led NDA regime and asserted that the Congress with the support of the secular forces will be able to make a difference in 2019.
“The Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi is confident to lead a united front of democratic and secular forces at the Centre,” Chandy said.
He added that the results in Meghalaya will boost the party at the Centre.
According to the Congress leader, the ruling BJP is trying to divide the country and is creating more and more issues like beef controversy, besides interfering in people’s rights on what to eat and what to wear.
He also compared the negative stand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the constructive nature of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“Look at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech inside Parliament. The former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh used to talk about the issues affecting the country whereas Modi wants to accuse and attack the Opposition leaders and all these have upset the people,” Chandy said.
He asserted that in this context, there is a need on the part of the Congress to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha polls with united democratic and secular forces.
According to Chandy, the Congress will fight the BJP not only in Meghalaya but throughout the country and the people would accept the issues raised by the Congress.
Though there is not a single BJP legislator in the Meghalaya Assembly, Chandy said the BJP government at the Centre is using power and money to win the election, “which will have to be stopped”.
He also said that BJP has failed to keep up the promises it made to the people of the country.
“When it was in the opposition, the BJP had opposed the Congress-led UPA for price rise. But look at the position in these four years, ordinary people are suffering due to price hike and the poor people are at the mercy of the profit makers,” he said.
He cited an example that while the international petroleum price has come down, people have not got any relief and the concession is going only to oil companies.
To a question on the stand of the party on fighting corruption in the context of charge sheet filed by the BJP against the Mukul Sangma-led government, Chandy said, “Corruption is one of the main issues the party has been fighting against and there is no doubt about it.”
To a query on why Lokayukta was not set up by the Congress-led government in Meghalaya to check corruption, the party leader said there are other agencies, including CBI and vigilance officers, to address the issue of corruption.
Asked whether the BJP will be the main opponent of the Congress in Meghalaya, Chandy suggested that the state Congress leaders should answer the question.
In response, MPCC working president James Lyngdoh said the Congress is fighting mainly against the regional political parties, which are supported by the BJP from behind.

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