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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

BJP to contest only from ‘winnable’ seats: State president Ernest Mawrie

Mawrie also informed that if the party high command allows, he would like to contest the 2023 Assembly polls from the West Shillong constituency


In the 2023 Meghalaya Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will only field candidates in those seats which the party thinks are “winnable”.

“We are very firm that we are going to contest from only the winnable seats. We will not contest all the seats like in the last 2018 elections,” said BJP state president Ernest Mawrie.

Clarifying that the decision wasn’t born out of any “bad experience” in the 2018 polls, but is a rational one, Mawrie said that they do not want to face a crisis again with candidates in some constituencies securing fewer votes.

“We didn’t have a bad experience so to say. But because we are the biggest political party in the world, we have to maintain that status,” he said.

Informing that the party has identified over 15 seats – four from East Khasi Hills, two each from Janita Hills and Ri Bhoi, and the rest are from Garo Hills, the BJP state president said that the main contest in the polls will be between them and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

“Not only for the BJP, even for other political parties, the main rival party will be the AITC,” he added.

When asked if the BJP considers the National People’s Party (NPP) as a competition in the polls, the leader evaded a straight answer, but said that with the saffron party being a part of the ruling NPP-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA), it is too early to comment on it.

“We are part of the (MDA) coalition so it is too early to say anything because we have to discuss with all the political parties which are part of the government,” he said.

He, however, completely belittled the Congress, saying that the party is a sinking ship and in the 2023 elections, it will have no impact. “Of course, the Congress will be there as a party and organisation, but I don’t think they have any future in the election,” he said.

The BJP leader also claimed that some of the sitting legislators have already sent feelers to the party expressing their desire to join and contest on a BJP ticket.

“But because there is anti-defection law, the MLAs from other parties cannot declare now,” he said, adding “I am very keen and sure that after June or may by July, we will come to know who will join us but already 3-5 are in line.”

As part of the preparation for the 2023 polls, the BJP president said that the election manifesto committee has been formed and former minister Sing Mulieh is soon going to start formulating the manifesto.

Informing that, so far, over 2 lakh people have already enrolled with the party in Meghalaya, Mawrie said, “Now we are taking one step at a time to strengthen the party in the district levels.”

When enquired from which constituency would he like to contest the 2023 polls, Mawrie said that if the party high command allows, he would like to contest from the West Shillong constituency.

“The people of the constituency have approached and requested me to contest, and I am (also) very keen because the biggest enrolment of the party happened from this constituency. If the party decides that I should contest from there then, as the state president, I keenly will,” Mawrie said.

West Shillong is presently represented by Congress legislator Mohendro Rapsang.

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