Lawyer Fenela Lyngdoh Nonglait has said that she is ready to contest the Shillong seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Nonglait, formerly of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) and then the Congress Party, told reporters today that she joined the saffron party on December 22.
The BJP appears keen to have a female candidate for the seat. This follows soon after the central government passed a law reserving a certain proportion of seats in Parliament for women, though this will not apply to the 2024 election. The National People’s Party (NPP) has already declared a woman – sitting cabinet minister Ampareen Lyngdoh – as its candidate.
“I was surprised on that day when they put forward the proposal for me to contest from the Shillong seat,” Nonglait said.
However, she has certain conditions for running, chief among them that pending bills in Parliament that, if passed, would adversely affect the indigenous people of the state should not apply to them. These include bills on land acquisition and the proposed Universal Civil Code.
Working from within the BJP would enable her to really push for minorities, she opined. “We need to be the voice of the Christians, the minorities in the Parliament,” Nonglait added, while stating that the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) will also be one of her priorities.
The BJP is yet to formally decide on its candidate. In the meantime, however, Nonglait does not want to sit on her hands and will start canvassing the people of the Shillong seat and explain her stand to the electorate.