The Congress began its campaign to retain the Mawryngkneng Assembly seat yesterday, with party leaders turning out to bat for its candidate, Highlander Kharmalki.
Kharmalki, who quit the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) recently, is looking to succeed the late legislator David Nongrum, who died suddenly in February. The Congress is desperate to keep the seat within its kitty.
Yesterday several Congress leaders, including MLAs and MDCs campaigned for Kharmalki.
The Congress has formed six zones in the constituency involving the elected representatives and leaders of the party in Mawryngkneng with an aim to ensure victory in the by-election, the date of which has not been fixed by the Election Commission.
Speaking at the rally, East Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said that this by-election is important to unite the indigenous people of the state.
“There will be no PDF, UDP (United Democratic Party) or Congress but only a fight against the complicated issues facing our society,” Lyngdoh said.
She also extolled Kharmalki’s qualifications, pointing to his engineering profession, saying Congress MLAs are educated and that education has been demonstrated in the way the party takes up issues concerning the state’s citizens.
The Congress legislator also criticized the central government over the rising prices of fuel of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
Umroi MLA George B Lyngdoh, meanwhile, castigated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the sense of insecurity among minorities in the country.
Lyngdoh also cautioned those present that others will try and lure them with the promise of money for their votes but that they should not be misled.
Others who spoke were Mawsynram MLA Himalaya Shangpliang, Mawhati MDC Charles Margnar and Kharmalki himself.