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SHILLONG: The State BJP got another shot in the arm before the December 13 by-election after former Cabinet minister and UDP leader JA Lyngdoh, along with his supporters, joined the party on Tuesday.
The BJP will contest all the seven district council seats in the by-polls as the party wants to strengthen the traditional institutions, said its State president Shibun Lyngdoh and added that the “by-polls will be a major test for the party”.
On NDA’s performance, JA Lyngdoh said he “fell in love with the BJP” during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when the NDA government created the DoNER Ministry for the welfare of the northeastern region.
“The BJP is the only party that can bring development and change in the State,” said JA Lyngdoh and assured “full co-operation” in strengthening the BJP in Meghalaya.
“There was a time when the Congress would tell people not to vote for regional parties because its government existed in Assam as well as at the Centre. But now the BJP government exists in Assam and New Delhi and the party should form government in Meghalaya as well,” said the former minister, who lost the polls in 2013 “due to delimitation factor”.
Former Congress leader and sitting MDC Neil Antonio War, who was present at the function on Tuesday, had said he “fell in love” with the saffron party despite being a Congress man because of the BJP government’s way of working and the simplicity of its leaders.
War recalled that a few months ago, the district councils were facing financial crunch and all the 10 district councils formed a committee and approach the Centre on the matter. “We were amazed how the central leaders treated us despite the fact that the chairman of the committee belonged to an EC led by a Congress party,” he said, adding that they got the appointment of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi within an hour.
“After meeting for 15 minutes, Arun Jaitley told us to meet MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju and later within two months, Rs 1,000 crore was sanctioned as special funds for the district council,” he said.
War said the Congress leadership has failed in the State and that some of his “friends” are waiting for the right time to join the BJP.
Supporters of JA Lyngdoh and party functionaries were also present on the occasion and he, along with his 10 senior supporters, was felicitated after joining the party.