BJP hopes to get one lakh votes in Shillong
Past records show increase in number of votes for saffron party
SHILLONG: The BJP is hoping to garner at least one lakh votes in the just concluded Shillong Lok Sabha seat and nearly 50,000 in Tura though the party’s primary intention was not to win the seats but to keep it alive.
BJP state president Shibun Lyngdoh said on Monday the party expects its candidate Sanbor Shullai to secure at least one lakh votes.
However, critics of BJP said with the lingering issues like the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the BJP candidate may not get more votes as expected.
The party never won any Lok Sabha polls in the state though it had put up candidates for both Shillong and Tura in the past.
Shibun, who got fourth position, had polled 95,979 votes in the 2014 general elections for the Shillong seat. Hi performance was impressive in the urban constituencies.
“There was no Modi wave when I contested the election in 2014 in the first phase, still the votes polled were over 95,000,” Shibun said, hoping that Shullai will secure more votes.
Out of the total 11,97,806 voters, over 7.5 lakh cast their votes in Shillong. In Tura, out of 7,16,989 voters, over 5.8 lakh voted.
According to the BJP state president, this time the party will get more votes in Shillong as there is more support base compared to Tura where the party fielded newcomer Rikman G Momin.
The election history shows that the BJP first contested the Lok Sabha polls in Shillong and Tura in 1991.
In Shillong, MS Phyllut of the BJP polled 15,835 votes while in Tura, Bipramohan Koch secured 18,430 votes.
In 1996, the BJP improved its position in Shillong as its candidate H Aiontis Roy Kharphuli secured 24,523 votes.
In the same year in Tura and also in 1998, the runner-up was BJP’s Anilla D Shira who contested against Purno Sangma and polled 35,634 and 42,061 votes, respectively.
In 1998, BJP candidate Elizabeth Laitflang bagged 33,557 votes for the Shillong seat.
When TH Rangad contested the Shillong seat in 1999 from the BJP, there was a slight decrease in the number of votes to 31,859.
In the same year, BJP fielded Mohendro Agitok in Tura and he got 29,990 votes which was also less than the previous terms.
In the subsequent polls in 2004, 2009 and 2014, the BJP did not field candidates in Tura and in Shillong in 2004, BJP’s Sanbor Swell Lyngdoh polled 58,560 votes, a bigger share than the previous terms. In 2009, the party did not put up any candidate for Shillong.