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CAB not to hurt BJP poll prospects: Shibun

SHILLONG: The uproar over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the people’s ire at the BJP for trying to push it through is not going to affect its prospects in the North East in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the party feels.
Apart from Manipur, several BJP leaders even in Meghalaya deserted the party over the CAB as the ruling party at the Centre rode roughshod over the sentiments of the people of the region.
In Meghalaya, ever since the bill was passed in Lok Sabha, BJP leaders at different levels resigned from the party with PW Khongjee being the last to quit and rejoin the opposition Congress.
The sitting BJP MLA, Sanbor Shullai, too had threatened he would leave the party if the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha.
The central government, however, did not finally bring the bill to the upper House even after it was listed leading to jubilation across the region.
The NPP, a constituent of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, too has made it clear that it would sever ties if at any point of time they go ahead with the bill. Another regional party, UDP too has moved out of NDA and NEDA.
However, BJP state president, Shibun Lyngdoh, is confident that the party will perform well in the Lok Sabha elections
He said that the bill was misinterpreted to the people of the region and the BJP is now clarifying about its provisions to them.
“Rumours have been spread that with this bill, Hindus will dominate the region which is not true,” he said.
When asked about the desertions from the party, Lyngdoh said that some leaders wanted the party ticket and funds to contest the 2018 Assembly elections, and after getting both, they could not win so they felt it is not wise for them to stay on in the party.
“The leaders who have left the party are not organisation-based and they were not in the party for its ideology, but just to enjoy and now as they have left, there is no harm in it,” he said.
He also said that in the Northeastern states where BJP is in majority, the party would not compromise on fielding its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, but in states where it is in alliance, it would discuss the matter with the allies.

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