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Meghalaya Assembly polls: BJP to contest from all 60 seats, to release candidates’ list next month

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Shillong, Jan 27: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will announce the list of its candidates for all the 60 constituencies next month. Elections to Meghalaya Legislative Assembly will be held on February 27, and counting on March 2.

“We have prepared the list today (Friday) and we are going to send it to Delhi immediately and we are going to declare the names of candidates within February 2,” BJP state president Ernest Mawrie told reporters after a meeting of the party’s State Election Committee (SEC) on Friday.

He informed that the party has decided to field candidates from all the 60 constituencies. According to him, the party is fielding not less than 10 women candidates this time from constituencies like Shella, Jirang, Nongpoh, Selsella, Dalu, Mawkyrwat and others.

Stating that there are constituencies which are having more than two ticket aspirants, Mawrie however said, “We will send all the names to Delhi. The final names will be decided by the Central Parliamentary Committee (CPC), which will be meeting on January 31.”

According to him, the CPC will also take a call with regards to Tripura and Nagaland, which will also go for fresh polls next month.

Asked about the delay to announce the list of candidates, the state president said the BJP is a national party and has its own style of functioning. “We are doing the work in the field so whether they declare the ticket tomorrow or after three days, it makes no difference since we have already started the groundwork long back,” he said.

“And in the organization matter, we are very strong. We have got different committees. We are waiting for the decision from Delhi and we have requested them to announce immediately,” he added.

He also informed that the party has already prepared the manifesto and will release it as soon as the list of candidates is announced.

The BJP at present has only two MLAs – Sanbor Shullai (South Shillong) and AL Hek (Pynthorumkhrah) – in the 60 member House.

Expressing confidence that the party will win more seats in the upcoming elections, Mawrie said, “Last time we had projected the potential seats upto 25 but this time we have projected 35 seats and we are expected to win more seats so that we can lead the government.”

“We are not planning to have a coalition with anybody. Let us wait after the results, to find out like minded parties who are willing to follow our agenda of corruption-free government,” he said.

Giving a gist on the issues to be highlighted in the party’s election manifesto, the state president said that the party is focusing on development. “We don’t have good infrastructure in terms of roads, we don’t have medical colleges, engineering colleges and people now always discuss about traffic congestion – so all these issues will be solved if we have a double engine government – a government here in Meghalaya and a government in Delhi,” he said while adding “Looking at neighbouring state, development has taken place in a faster pace in terms of roads, colleges and medical colleges – I think the people in Meghalaya, they have the same aspirations that they want development, and we have so many issues which (we) will take up when we get a chance to form the government.”

When asked on the ILP issue, Mawrie said that the state government had already passed an official resolution in the Assembly on the matter. “All the MLAs have supported the issue and the matter has gone to the central government. Therefore, the central government will take its own course and decide. Let us wait for the Centre’s decision,” he said.

As far as candidates with criminal background are concerned, the state president said that the party is yet to receive information on such candidates. “Till today we don’t have any information like any candidates involved in criminal activities. Maybe some candidates have some cases but it has not come to our notice. When we receive information we will follow as per guidelines of the Election Commission of India,” he assured.

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