Shillong, Feb 8: The hill state of Meghalaya is witnessing a "lotus" bloom, literally. If the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are to be believed, the saffron party (lotus is the symbol of the party) is receiving unprecedented response from the voters, this election season.
The Meghalaya Assembly elections are scheduled on February 27. A total of 443 candidates have filed their nomination papers to contest the elections, the results of which will be declared on March 3. The last date of filing of nomination papers for the candidates was on February 6.
The BJP, which is trying its best to unseat the incumbent Congress, is contesting elections in 47 of the 60 Assembly seats.
Ask BJP leaders what is the reason behind their confidence of winning elections in a state where the Congress is in power for the last 15 years, Nalin Kohli, BJP national spokesperson, who is also in-charge of the party in the state, said the response the party got was phenomenal and the time for change has come.
"We have outstanding candidates like AL Hek, Sanbor Shullai, JA Lyngdoh, Ernest Mawrie and Antonio War. This is going to be a massive election for us and lotus always blooms out of the depth, whatever be the dirt, to the top. The lotus for us is a symbol of good governance, of promises to be delivered for the welfare of the people."
Kohli added that the BJP's confidence was based on a massive assessment by central leaders and own inputs to see who are the candidates who can put up a credible fight.
"We do not fight as tokenism. We fight credibly and want to clearly gauge the mood of the people. We always said we will find a majority and 47 out of 60 seats are an absolute majority," Kohli said.
Regarding the question how the BJP, known to be a Hindu party, going to win voters' confidence in a Christian-dominated state, Kohli said the party believes in "sabka saath sabka vikas" and Prime Minister Narendra Modi swears only by one book--the Constitution.
"We are very hopeful that the BJP will do exceptionally well and the number of seats would exceed our expectations because of the love of the people of Meghalaya," Kohli added.
"A total of 443 candidates have filed nomination papers for the 60 assembly constituencies. Tuesday was the last day of filing papers, where 126 candidates filed nominations," state Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor said.
He said the last date for withdrawal of nominations is February 12. Chief Minister Mukul Sangma filed his nomination papers from two assembly constituencies in Ampati and Songsak.
Sangma had won from Ampati for five consecutive terms since 1993. It is said that the incumbent Congress CM is scared of losing the election from Ampati as the party is facing anti-incumbency wave in the state. Thus, the CM has filed his nomination papers from a second Assembly seat too.
|CONG||29||24||Election Date : Feb 27 2018 |
Counting : Mar 03 2018
|Total||60||51 (9 Vacant)|