Shillong: Hundreds of BJP supporters on Monday participated in a rally led by Pynthorumkhrah candidate AL Hek, South Shillong MLA Sanbor Shullai, North Shillong candidate Mariahom Kharkrang, and accompanied by Union Minister Jitendra Singh.

BJP President Ernest Mawrie also filed his nomination papers and will contest from the West Shillong constituency against UDP candidate Paul Lyngdoh and NPP candidate Mohendro Rapsang.

The gate of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Shillong was once again crowded with supporters from various political parties.

BJP flags carried by supporters during the rally

Hek will be contesting against his nephew, NPP candidate Rocky Hek, Congress candidate PN Syiem, and Independent candidate Samborlang Diengdoh, who was previously a TMC candidate.

Hek stated that his constituents and party are projecting him as a potential Chief Minister. He expressed gratitude for the love and support he has received, which he says shows that the people are backing him.

He also claimed that there has been widespread corruption in the state during the current MDA government under the NPP. “If one visits taxi stands and tea stalls, they will hear about the high level of corruption taking place,” Hek said.

Former IPS officer Mariahom Kharkrang with family arriving at the DC office to file nominations

In response to allegations made by his nephew, Rocky, that there has been no development under his leadership in 25 years, Hek said that it is a common tactic for opponents to make baseless claims during elections.

He once again emphasized that no government will be formed without the BJP and that the BJP will receive more than two-digit votes, leading to a double-engine government. He promised that if the BJP forms the government, all scams will be investigated by the CBI and no one will be exempt from the probe. According to Hek, the CBI will be brought in to inquire within six months.

South Shillong MLA Sanbor Shullai arrives at the DC office to file nominations. He was also accompanied by supporters to file nominations

Meanwhile, BJP’s South Shillong MLA, Sanbor Shullai, stated that the 2023 elections will be easy as there are no strong opponents. He also mentioned that, according to reports, the NPP did not field a candidate because they did not have a suitable one. Shullai dismissed allegations made by his opponent, Angela Rangad, that most schemes were not properly implemented in the constituency, calling them a lie. According to Shullai, the people of his constituency have seen that everything is progressing.

Shullai added that the people of Meghalaya have come to accept the BJP after seeing the good work done by Prime Minister Modi and the various schemes implemented in the state. “All the schemes, such as water supply, electricity, roads, healthcare, education, and others, are funded by the central government led by the BJP. Parties like the UDP and NPP only exist in Meghalaya, and people should be aware that the central government is led by the BJP and the schemes are brought in by the BJP,” Shullai said.

The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) is an alliance of the NPP, UDP, BJP, HSPDP, PDF, and independent parties.

A sight of ‘Festival of Democracy ‘ supporters of different political parties like TMC, UDP, and BJP outside the DC office gate wait for their candidates while cheering for their parties

Shullai responded to the Congress’s allegations that the people of Meghalaya will not trust the BJP due to alleged atrocities against Christians. He stated that these are just allegations and there are no such atrocities against Christians in Meghalaya. Shullai stated that the BJP, as a party, is ready to fight for the justice and safety of Christian brothers and sisters in the state.

Regarding Hek’s claim that he will be the Chief Minister if the BJP is voted to power, Shullai said it was wrong for Hek to make that claim. Shullai stated that neither Hek nor himself can say that, as the BJP is a national party and all decisions are made by the high command.

In response to the demand for the Inner Line Permit (ILP), Shullai stated, “People should give their mandate to the BJP and if they can secure at least 31 MLAs, the BJP will form the government and the issue of ILP will be discussed. Shullai stated that, as per the Constitution of India, if it is the right of the people of the state, it will be fulfilled.”

Union Minister Jitendra Singh participating in the rally along with AL Hek in Shillong

Making his debut in politics, former IPS officer Mariahom Kharkrang said that North Shillong is a BJP seat and there is no doubt about it. “Last time, BJP lost by almost 300 votes, but this time we will win with a historic majority,” said Kharkrang.

The other candidates in the North Shillong constituency are UDP’s Dr Aman Warr, NPP’s Ransom Sutnga, and TMC’s Elgiva Rynjah.

When asked about allegations of involvement in fake encounter killings during his time as a police officer, Kharkrang said that anyone can make allegations. He added that there is a legal system in place and whoever made the allegations is stooping too low.

Regarding allegations that BJP candidates had to pay for their tickets, Kharkrang refuted the claims. He stated that he did not spend a single penny to get his ticket.

“I’ve got this ticket based on survey reports and based on various factors that the party has put in. I’ve got this ticket based on my merit,” stated Kharkrang.

Asked about his emphasis on security, Kharkrang stated that the state cannot develop without a good security system. He said that the state relies on investment to create jobs, and with the current state of security, it’s unlikely anyone would want to invest. “It’s not just about maintaining law and order, it affects the development of the state. I want my state to develop,” he added.

Meanwhile, Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh, expressed confidence that the BJP will secure an absolute majority in Meghalaya as the people of the state have seen the performance of the party. He also claimed that Meghalaya was once known for corruption but is now a development model, citing the improvement in railway connectivity and the creation of proper airports.

Regarding the allegations of corruption in the MDA, of which BJP is a partner, Dr Singh said that if the party feels something is wrong, they take corrective action. He dismissed accusations of anti-Christian actions as election propaganda, stating that the BJP gives equal attention to all segments of society, including Christians.

When asked about the cash-for-vote scam, Dr Singh said that such accusations are made by angry aspiring candidates and that tickets are allotted based on merit and hard work, not a dynasty. He added that the BJP has done more for Christians and every segment of society than any other party.

Also Read | Meghalaya 2023: Denied BJP ticket, ex-MLA joins TMC for North Tura

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