Shot in the arm for BJP

Six leaders join party ranks in State

Congress leaders Neil Antonio War, Ismail Marak, NCP MDC Righteous Sangma, Independent MDCs Sofiur Rahman and Kurosh Marak and UDP leader Field Marshall Mawpniang pose after joining the BJP in the city on Saturday. (ST)

SHILLONG: In a major boost to the State BJP ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections, MDCs and leaders from other parties, including Congress’ Neil Antonio War, formally joined the saffron brigade here on Saturday.
The five leaders who officially joined the party apart from War are Congress leader Ismail Marak, NCP MDC Righteous Sangma, independent MDCs Sofiur Rahman and Kurosh Marak and UDP leader Field Marshall Mawpniang.
Speaking to media persons, BJP national spokesperson and Meghalaya in charge Nalin Kohli said the countdown has begun as far as MLAs and MDCs leaving the Congress is concerned. “No one wants to be on a sinking ship.”
He further said BJP welcomes anyone who wants to be a part of the party’s agenda of “Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas” (Collective efforts inclusive growth).
Stating that development activities have come to a standstill in the state, the BJP leader claimed that the Congress is losing its popularity and even its mandate in Meghalaya and the party has lost badly even in Garo Hills, which is the home turf of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.
According to Kohli, the time has come for people to send a message, like the ones given out in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the Assam elections, that they are opposed to corruption. He also pointed out that likeminded parties and organisations should work collectively to oust the Congress and set the base for a corruption-free government in Meghalaya. On pre-poll alliance, the BJP leader said that few political parties, including the UDP, are part of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) but a final call on the matter would be taken at an appropriate time.
Meanwhile, Neil Antonio War said that his joining the BJP would strengthen the Executive Committee led by PN Syiem in the KHADC. He added that if given a ticket by the BJP, he would definitely contest the elections from Laitumkhrah constituency against sitting MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh.
It is for the first time that the BJP has made inroads into the KHADC with War among others joining the party ranks.