Shillong, Feb 21: In less than a week's time, the hill state of Meghalaya will host the upcoming Assembly elections on February 27. The results of the polls will be declared on March 3.
The ruling Congress government, which is in power in the state for almost 15 years now, except for one year rule of the United Democratic Party (UDP) from March 2008 to March 2009, is facing a massive anti-incumbency wave.
Taking advantage of the dissent against the Mukul Sangma government in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is hoping to win elections in the state like it did in Assam in 2016 and in Manipur in 2017, has launched a scathing attack against the Congress.
In a latest advertisement to attack the Congress regime, chief minister Sangma is shown as "sleeping" while the state lags behind in various fields.
The BJP had published the advertisement in some local dailies, in which a pictorial representation showed Sangma sleeping with the caption that read -- "15 years of Congress rule: Mass exodus of youth from the state for lack of job opportunities. BJP promises: Provide one job opportunity for every youth".
The ruling Congress in Meghalaya on Tuesday took exception to the advertisement of the BJP against the CM and demanded that action be taken against the saffron party for defaming him.
Stating that the advertisement was in "bad taste, warranting criminal prosecution", Meghalaya Congress working president James S Lyngdoh demanded that the state's Chief Electoral Officer, FR Kharkongor, took steps to stop its further publication and bring to book the publishers and BJP officials concerned.
Lyngdoh also said the publication of such an advertisement attracted penalty under sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the IPC. Kharkongor said he had received a complaint in this regard and would look into it.
On Tuesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi visited Meghayala and campaigned for the party in the state. During his poll rallies, Rahul attacked the Narendra Modi government at the Centre calling it corrupt in the wake of the Nirav Modi-PNB scandal.
The Congress boss also urged the people of the state not to vote for a party (the BJP) that is trying to divide the country.