Can the BJP win big in GH?

TURA, Dec 8: With elections just a few months away, most parties have begun to showcase their might and support. While the opposition Trinamool Congress has taken a lead over the others in holding campaigns across the Garo Hills region, others are expected to bring in their serious game in a few weeks. The BJP too is no exception and it will only be a matter of time before they bring in their coterie of crowd pullers.
One question that is in the minds of people is whether the BJP can actually win seats from Garo Hills and if they do, then the next question is how many?
While the answers will have to wait a while, a little analysis of the party’s position compared to 2018 points to the party doing quite a few things right this time.
Prior to the 2018 elections, the party, though always a part of the political firmament, had just begun to take a serious look at politics in Meghalaya.
Egged on by the central leaders with visits almost every month, workers of the party began to feel the ground beneath their feet with many looking at ways that would help the party grow in Meghalaya.
The party, in 2018, was extremely confident of a good show and expected to win at least 5-6 seats from Garo Hills and many more from Khasi Hills.
With campaigns undertaken by the veritable who’s who of the party, including then party president Amit Shah in Tikrikilla and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Phulbari, there were expectations that voters would be wooed and the party would get a fillip in the run up to the elections. However result day came as a huge shock for the BJP. Not only did they not win even a single seat from Garo Hills, most candidates ranked extremely low in the rung of votes. The party only managed two seats from the Khasi Hills region with AL Hek and Sanbor Shullai winning from their respective constituencies.
The party this time though feels it has learnt its lessons and as such will be in a better position to fight and win. The entry of two MLAs from NPP, including Benedic Marak (Raksamgre) and Ferlin CA Sangma (Selsella) along with Baghmara MLA Samuel Sangma will invigorate the party and its workers as it now feels that positive results look a certainty. Further the addition of former CEM of the GHADC Dipul Marak and former MDC Sukharam Sangma has further boosted the morale of the party and its workers.
“BJP will do better in the 2023 elections because we are more organised and ready to fight alone. In previous years, BJP worked with NPP but NPP backstabbed the BJP at different levels from which the party learnt many lessons. NPP always played a major role during elections as NPP is a B Team of BJP which will not be the case in the 2023 election,” felt party spokesperson Bernard Marak.
He added that at the grassroots level, BJP has become an option to many unlike other political parties in the state.
“We are a people oriented party and our workers are dedicated workers. BJP penetrated the strongholds of other political parties by good deeds and people oriented services. Our workers are not profit oriented but are service oriented who voluntarily dedicated their time and energy to do good for the society. This has strengthened the party at the grassroots level,” added Marak.
He blamed the NPP, which in the previous years had a say in the allotment of seats. These, he felt, were done to ensure the BJP does not win.
“People are aware of what the BJP is doing for the poor at the grass root level. Other parties are mostly involved in shameless corruption and greed for money and power. Everyone knows the funds are sanctioned by BJP which are siphoned off by other parties,” claimed Marak.
The party this time feels they have a realistic chance of winning at least four seats and maybe even more if luck goes their way.
“We are looking at 15 seats from Garo Hills where we have a realistic chance of winning. We will put in all our efforts to ensure we give it our best and challenge those that want to write off our chances,” added Bernard, who will be contesting from the South Tura constituency against Chief Minister and NPP supremo Conrad K Sangma.
While there obviously has been a perceptible increase in the base of the party in Garo Hills, whether that will turn into votes in the coming elections is yet to be seen. The BJP is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to make an impact in the run up to the polls.

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