Staff Correspondent SHILLONG, March 22 - After filing his nomination papers to retain the Shillong seat, Congress MP, Vincent H Pala said today “consistency” of the people in electing the Congress for the last 20 years has made Meghalaya the most developed State in the region.
Congress MP candidate Vincent H Pala speaking to mediapersons after filing his nomination papers from Shillong Parliamentary constituency, in Shillong on Friday. – UB Photos
The Congress has held the Shillong seat since 1998 and Pala is contesting the seat for his third term in the Lok Sabha. “Meghalaya is the most developed State in the North East….as it has been ruled by the Congress for the past 21 years. Consistency is very important,” Pala said.
Downplaying the issue of anti-incumbency, the sitting Congress MP said it won’t be an important factor during the election, although admitting anti-incumbency against him, but not against the Congress.
On the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance fielding a common candidate and the combined vote share of the alliance partners being substantially more than the Congress during the recently-concluded Autonomous District Council elections, Pala said: “vote share doesn’t matter, winnability factor does.”
He further said that the outcome of the recently-concluded ADC polls, in which the Congress didn’t perform well, wont matter during the MP elections.
“The issues in the District Council elections are local, while that of the MP election is about policies and how the State connects with the Centre. So the outcome of the Council election won’t affect the coming elections,” he stated.
Asked to highlight some of the important issues before the State, Pala said, connectivity, unemployment and education are some of the issues core to his heart. “The minimum income guarantee scheme as propounded by Rahul Gandhi would also be raised,” he said.
Moreover, the Citizen’s (Amendment) Bill issue would remain, he said, adding the attempt of the BJP to bring in the Bill would add to influx and would also jeopardise tradition and culture of the State through such influx. “The Congress would be opposing the CAB,” Pala said.
Giving a report of his performance over the past ten years, Pala said some of the roads like the Shillong-Guwahati Highway, the Tura-Nongstoin highway and a host of other road projects were part of his initiative.
Additionally, work on the Umroi Airport, having the Meghalaya High Court, MBBS course at NEIGRIHMS are some of the results due to his initiative. “My attendance in the Parliament and also the questions asked and issues raised were above the national average,” Pala claimed.