Sonia asks people to be careful of smaller parties

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Jowai, Feb 23 (UNI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi today asked the people not to vote for individuals and smaller parties as her party alone can assure political stability and development in Meghalaya.

''The smaller parties are without vision and will do no good for the state,'' She said, addressing an election rally here in Jaintia Hills district. Meghalaya goes to polls on March 3.

In an indirect reference to NCP leader P A Sangma, the UPA chairperson noted there were people who have been shifting parties for their vested interests, and alleged that these individuals tried to disturb peace and social harmony here.

Mr Sangma, the NCP's chief ministerial candidate, is contesting from Tura Assembly constituency.

Attired in traditional Dhara-Muka, a tribal dress of Pnar in the state, Ms Gandhi appealed to the people to vote for the party while recalling the contribution of late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

''My mother-in law was instrumental in peaceful formation of the state and my husband loved the state and its people,'' she added.

Meghalaya has witnessed eight-coalition governments in the past ten years, including of former Chief Minister J D Rymbai who was unceremoniously removed and quit the party to join United Democratic Party and contest from Jirang constituency.

Meanwhile, proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) had called a bandh today that resulted in a low turnout at the rally.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Meghalaya Margret Alva alleged that the rival parties were using the outfits to disrupt the rally by calling the bandh.

''The party is championing the cause of peace and stability.

Although we have a coalition government we have progressed and achieved tangible result in various field of development,'' Chief Minister D D Lapang said while addressing the rally.

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