Shillong, Feb 17: A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its manifesto for Meghalaya--"vision document"--on Thursday, the party president Amit Shah on Friday addressed an election rally in the capital city of the state, Shillong.
The BJP's rally did not see enough crowds, however, Shah promised to make Meghalaya a "model state" if his party is voted to power in the upcoming Assembly elections scheduled on February 27. The results of the elections will be out on March 3.
The BJP president also asked the people of Meghalaya to oust the Congress government led by chief minister Mukul Sangma as he accused the ruling party leaders of pocketing funds meant for development.
The BJP, which is contesting on 47 of the 60 seats in the Assembly polls in the state, is hoping to unseat the Mukul Sangma government, ruling the state for nearly 10 years now.
Shah claimed that the acceptance level of the BJP in the northeast has increased tremendously after Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked day-and-night and had sent central ministers over 150 times to the region to bring in more development.
"These efforts, the acceptance of BJP in NE is increasing and we have a government in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. In Nagaland and Tripura, the BJP will form government (after the polls) as well," a confident Shah said.
The BJP chief quoting from the party's "vision document" for Meghalaya made a host of promises to the people of the state, including job opportunity for every youth, 24/7 electricity and assured coal miners and their families that scientific mining will be opened within 180 days.
Accusing CM Sangma of not delivering development to the people, Shah said 70 per cent of education budget of Rs 900 crore has not been spent, shortage of over 68 per cent of science and maths teachers in schools and no 27/4 electricity while there are shortages of 78 per cent of doctors in health centres.
Citing scams such as the mining scam, the sugar scam, the PHE scam and the police and teachers' recruitment scam which took place during the 10-year period, he said, "If you look at it from the scams, this is the record scam-making government of Mukul Sangma."
He also accused the Congress leaders of the state of pocketing money meant for the poor for which they constructed bungalows and bought fancy cars. "On accounts of scams and mismanagement...there was no mining, tourism had not taken off and no jobs and the number of suicides have gone up by 45 per cent," Shah said, adding that crimes against women have also gone up by an unprecedented 30 per cent.
Giving accounts of every penny allocated for Meghalaya since 2014 to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore for development, Shah said the government at the Centre had released Rs 25,417 crore to Meghalaya under the 14th Finance Commission against Rs 5,817 crore it got under the 13th Finance Commission.
"An increase of over Rs 19,000 crore, if implemented properly, would have decongested Shillong city and the traffic jams would not have happened," he said, adding that Rs 6,400 crore is in the pipeline for various developmental purpose for the state including the release of Rs 463 crore MUDRA loans.
Appealing to the people to vote for the BJP, the party chief said, "I request you to throw this corrupt dispensation which has been here for 10 years out of power and in five years we will make it a model state." Shah also addressed a rally at Jowai town in eastern Jaintia Hills region.
Along with Meghalaya, two other northeastern states are also going for polls in February. While Tripura Assembly elections are scheduled on Sunday (February 18), Nagaland Assembly elections will take place on February 27. The election results of all the three states will be declared on March 3.