Sabotage game against Pala: AICC steps in

Faleiro tells MPCC chief to act tough

SHILLONG: With Congress nominee for Shillong Lok Sabha seat Vincent Pala facing a sabotage game because of inner-party feud, the AICC has now stepped in, asking the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee to ensure his victory.

Though Pala himself, talking to The Shillong Times on Sunday, denied any prospect of sabotage, it was learnt that AICC general secretary in-charge of Meghalaya Luizinho Faleiro had called up MPCC president DD Lapang and asked him to ensure that attempts at sabotage were nipped in the bud and the victory of the Congress candidate was ensured at all costs.

Faleiro had stated that reports available with him suggested that in some segments in Pala’s constituency Congress leaders were instigating party workers to sabotage the chance of success of the Congress candidate. The Congress high command had taken a serious view of these reports.

Faleiro’s appeal said that all Congress workers regardless of rank and office would have to come together as a family to strengthen the hands of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who himself was leading the current electoral campaign.

When contacted, Lapang admitted that the AICC general secretary had called him, asking him to take corrective steps since AICC leaders wanted to ensure the victory of the candidate. “In some constituencies, the leaders are not much active and as the president, I have to correct this,” Lapang said.

A party source, meanwhile, said that there could be reshuffle of posts of several party leaders to ensure that the party candidate won the election.

An anti-Pala group in the party was strongly against allotting the Lok Sabha seat to Vincent Pala but AICC decided to stick to the sitting M.P.

Dull campaign: Meanwhile, campaigning for April 9 Lok Sabha elections in the State has remained dull as no star campaigners save the AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi has visited the state so far.

The star campaigners are busy campaigning for themselves. This was not the case in the last year’s Assembly election as big guns like Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley and film actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar and Smriti Irani visited Meghalaya to campaign for their respective party candidates. So far, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who has addressed several party rallies in the North -East, is yet to visit Shillong.