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Is Congress trying to communalise Meghalaya Assembly elections?

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    Shillong, Feb 14: In the hill state of Meghalaya, which is going to polls soon, "communal politics" has reared its ugly head like we have been witnessing in other parts of the country during election times.

    In the past, elections in Meghalaya are fought over development, jobs, roads, infrastructure and other local issues. This time, the scene is pretty different as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying its best to unseat the incumbent Congress which is in power for the last 15 years.

    congress bjp

    In the Christian-dominated state, the issue of religion has always been a very personal one and has hardly made its presence felt in the political discourse.

    On Tuesday, the BJP alleged that the ruling Congress is trying to "communalise" the Assembly elections in the state. The BJP added that the Congress is doing so to avoid answering questions related to its "15 years of loot, 15 years of destruction".

    The BJP has alleged that the Congress government in the state is involved in massive corruption and the grand old party did nothing for the development of the state in the last 15 years of its rule.

    "The Congress party is creating a negative campaign. The Congress party is communalising this election. The Congress party is running away from its shameful track record.

    "The Congress is unable to answer to the scams against it and unable to say why they have not kept promises made 15 years in Meghalaya," BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli told the media.

    "The Congress leaders should at least once travel beyond the National Highway between Guwahati and Shillong and realise how there are more potholes and less of roads, how children don't go to school because teachers are not there, how there is no development," Kohli added.

    The BJP leader, who has been camping in the state, alleged that the Congress is using "divisive agenda" to get public support.

    "They are trying to force these agendas and are spreading lies with regards to eating habits, but we have always said political parties don't decide what food people of an area have or what clothes they wear...," said Kohli.

    Regarding the allegation of the Congress that the BJP is an "anti-Christian" party, Kohli said: "I am charging the Congress party with trying to communalise this election and trying to force the churches into politics which is very unfortunate."

    "Are you saying the Christians in Goa are anti-Christian for voting for the BJP? Are you saying the BJP ministers who are Christians whether in Goa or Manipur and Christian voters are anti-Christian?" he asked.

    The BJP, known to be a party of the Hindus, faced massive protests in the state last year when the Centre tried to introduce pan-India ban on sale of cattle for slaughter.

    In the northeast, including Meghalaya, where beef is widely consumed, the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter was seen as an interference on food habits of the people.

    The Assembly elections in Meghalaya are scheduled on February 27. Along with Meghalaya, Nagaland is also voting for the Assembly elections on February 27. The Assembly elections in Tripura are slated on February 18 (Sunday). The Assembly election results of all the three northeastern states will be announced on March 3.

    Meghalaya Assembly
    Party 2013 Current Standing  
    CONG 29 24 Election Date : Feb 27 2018
    Counting : Mar 03 2018
    IND 13 09
    UDP 08 07
    HSPDP 04 04
    NPP 02 02
    NCP 02 02
    BJP 00 02
    GNC 01 00
    NESDP 01 01
    OTHERS 00 00
    Total 60 51 (9 Vacant)

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