SHILLONG, March 23 - The BJP has decided to put up its candidate for the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, considered a stronghold of the Congress, while it has opted out of the race for Tura seat and would extend support to the “non-Congress” candidate.
For the Shillong seat, South Shillong MLA, Sanbor Shullai has been fielded, out of the six names that were forwarded by the State unit of the BJP.
Four names were also forwarded for the Tura seat by the State BJP. The BJP’s Central Election Committee, however, decided against contesting the seat.
“We will be supporting a non-Congress candidate in Tura. Although the party would not actively participate in the canvassing, but we have asked our party workers and supporters to feel free to support anyone other than the Congress candidate,” State BJP president, Shibun Lyngdoh said.
In Shillong, Shullai would contest against two-time Congress MP, Vincent H Pala, who is seeking a third consecutive mandate. The other candidate in the fray is the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance’s, Jemino Mawthoh.
Lyngdoh clarified that the BJP has been kept out of the MDA forum and it’s only an alliance of regional parties for the election. Since the BJP was out of the MDA forum, it was free to put up candidates anywhere it wished.
“We are part of the MDA coalition, but for the election we were kept out and so we put up a candidate for the Shillong seat,” the BJP State president said.
In Tura, former Union Minister and NPP candidate, Agatha Sangma would be contesting against former Chief Minister from the Congress, Dr Mukul Sangma.
Asked about the prospect of the BJP candidate against a formidable Congress, Lyngdoh said the Congress has been winning the seat since the Congress was in power in the State and misused the State machinery.
“Now, the situation has changed with the Congress no longer in power. The BJP is a cadre-based party having workers at the grassroots level. We are confident about winning the seat,” Lyngdoh stated.