The Congress Party feels confident that it will retain the Shillong Lok Sabha seat, elections for which will be held next year.
Vincent Pala is the current MP and has held the constituency since 2009.
Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Manuel Badwar said that, from an organisational point of view, the party has begun mobilising its workers and putting things in place in this and other constituencies.
He said that the people will choose the Congress because it is the only party that looks after the welfare of the minority.
“There are no other parties like the Congress who look after the minority. Congress is also the most secular party and a party that first looks into the well-being of the poor and downtrodden, which is the top priority that Meghalaya and India as a whole needs,” he told Highland Post.
In a dig at the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Badwar said that people should understand that politics is not about religion but is more about development, uplifting the weaker sections of society and respecting their freedom and way of life, etc.
He also ridiculed the statement by the National People’s Party (NPP) that it hopes to win the most seats from the North East in order to project a united voice for the region; Badwar said it would be difficult for the NPP to win even four seats in the region.
“Parliament has more than 500 members, so if you want to talk numbers then let’s talk of real numbers that have to come only from the Congress,” he said. “Look at history and the schemes the Congress has brought for the poor and weakest sections and likewise Meghalaya, unlike the Modi government, which wants to deduct and do away with schemes like the MGNREGA that are meant for the poor. Look at what we have got from the Congress in the last 40 years. We have got nothing since 2014 (when the BJP took power) and there has been no development for us.”
On the regional parties, he said that no matter what the regional parties say they will be swallowed whole as they will be voiceless in Parliament.
“Take the case of Manipur. The mayhem and killing there is beyond words but nothing was done while the MPs representing Manipur did not even utter a word in Parliament. The Manipur MP failed to utter a word because they have aligned themselves with the BJP and they have to obey and remain silent,” he claimed.
He also reminded that when Pala spoke at length against the Forest Conservation Bill in Parliament nobody from the North East stood up against it because everyone else was aligned with the BJP.