It’s ‘van politics’ for BJP in poll-bound Meghalaya

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Shillong, Feb 5: Meghalaya is not Madhya Pradesh for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), definitely. To end the Congress raj (rule) in the hill state (the Congress is ruling Meghalaya for the last 15 years), the saffron party is leaving no stone unturned. After Assam in 2016 and Manipur in 2017, the BJP aspires to capture Meghalaya in the 2018 state Assembly elections. 

Meghalaya is voting for a new Assembly on February 27. While Assembly elections in Nagaland are slated on February 27 along with Meghalaya, Tripura is voting for a new Assembly on February 18. The election results of all the three northeastern states will be declared on March 3. All the three states have 60-member assemblies.

bjp vans

In order to woo voters, the Meghalaya BJP has employed 30 vans to spread the saffron party's message across the length and breadth of the state.

All the BJP vans look very colourful as they have been decorated with posters bearing party symbol (Lotus), photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah and other leaders.

The vans also have LED TV in them. The vans carry the BJP's biggest message for Meghalaya with posters having the party's election slogan--"Time for change, time for BJP".

The BJP is aiming to win 40 seats in the 60-member Meghalaya Assembly. In the Congress-ruled state, the saffron party has no MLAs in the current state Assembly.

Earlier in January, BJP party president Shah was in Meghalaya. Prior to that PM Modi was in the state in December last year where he inaugurated Shillong-Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura Road.

During the event, Modi attacked the ruling Congress government for allegedly ruining the state during its 15 years regime. "The wave for change, which began with the Assam elections, is now reaching Meghalaya. This state can do wonders. Fifteen years of Congress rule has ruined Meghalaya," the PM said.

Recently, Congress president Rahul Gandhi was in the hill state for a two-day visit. In the recent times, the Congress has witnessed a mini-rebellion of sort after five of its MLAs resigned from the state Assembly and joined the National People's Party (NPP) and two other legislators moved to the BJP and the newly formed People's Democratic Front (PDF). The Congress is facing strong anti-incumbency wave in Meghalaya.

However, the BJP, the party known as a Hindu outfit, does not resonate well with the voters in the Christian-dominated state. Last year, the party faced flak in the state for planning to introduce pan-India ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter.

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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