Despite defections and tales of internal conflict of late, the Congress Party is in fine mettle and completely united ahead of the three Assembly by-elections to be held on October 30, Shillong MP and Meghalaya Congress president, Vincent Pala, said today.
“We are all working together. They say that people are running from the party. But [that was] at the beginning. There must be a misunderstanding or perception. But today (Dr) Mukul (Sangma) is working very hard. I am working very hard,” Pala said.
Two of the seats to be contested – Rajabala and Mawryngkneng – were in the Congress’ camp and Pala expects to hold these two while also bagging Mawphlang.
“For by-elections, you know that every minister and leader will land up in a constituency but, as of today, I think we are winning all the seats. I am quite confident,” he stated.
He said that when he was in Mawphlang and Mawryngkneng campaigning in small groups for the by-polls he found that people are with the Congress.
The Congress leaders have split up into different teams to campaign for the party candidates. In Rajabala (Garo Hills) Marthon Sangma and Deborah Marak are coordinating. For Mawryngkneng it is Ampareen Lyngdoh and Pynshngain N Syiem and for Mawphlang Charles Marngar and Kimfa Marbaniang are leading the way.
The Congress has put up Highlander Kharmalki for the Mawryngkneng seat, Kennedy Khyriem for Mawphlang and Hasina Yasmin Mondal for Rajabala.
On induction of former party leaders back into the Congress, Pala also informed that the Congress will induct a few more ex-party leaders who are looking to return to the fold.
“But the system in the party is that whenever we induct people, we should get approval from the high command. But due to the by-election, I’m not able to go and discuss this matter with New Delhi. After the election, quite a few more people will be joining us,” the state Congress president said.
“You won’t be surprised that by the end of January or February, we’ll have a series of leaders joining,” he added.