Thursday, April 18, 2024

LS polls: Cong faces resource constraints


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, March 21: From being the country’s grand old party to being reduced to an entity which relies on crowd funding to fight elections, the Congress faces the challenge of resource constraints as it is gearing up to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
The party in Meghalaya, impacted by the exodus of MLAs, on Thursday said it is going to polls with restraints on resources.
“This election may not be like other elections because the BJP has frozen the Congress’ 11 accounts involving more than Rs 215 crore while the Income Tax department has forcefully withdrawn Rs 115 crore from the Congress’ accounts. So, we will be fighting this election with a lot of restraints in terms of resources,” state Congress chief and Shillong MP, Vincent Pala said after a meeting with party workers and members of all blocks and districts at the Congress Bhawan.
According to him, the BJP has done this as the Congress is the only party which can give them a fight.
Pala said the Congress engaged itself in crowd funding over the past few months and many from Shillong donated to the party.
Talking about the meeting, he said, “We called all our district and block presidents of the Shillong Parliamentary seat. Normally, we have these meetings after the election dates and names of candidates are announced. My name has been decided for Shillong while Saleng Sangma will contest from Tura. We have given instructions to our workers. We are taking the views and the suggestions of district presidents and block presidents as the elections will be fought at all levels.”
He said during the meeting, they discussed strategies. He said policies and commitments, which are to be highlighted to the public, have been conveyed to the party workers.
Pala said they have asked the party workers to refrain from making personal attacks on candidates as it is not the Congress’ culture.
TMC leaders will join BJP after LS polls: Pala
Pala said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is the team B of the BJP in Meghalaya. He predicted that many of its leaders will join the saffron party post-polls.
Defending the Congress’ decision not to go for an alliance with the TMC in Meghalaya, he said he has briefed the party high command about the plans of the TMC leaders in Meghalaya.
“Why should we sacrifice as our leaders will join the BJP if we work out an alliance with the TMC Meghalaya?” Pala asked.
Claiming that TMC leaders are already in line to join the BJP, he said the TMC workers in Ri-Bhoi and West Shillong have started requesting Congress workers to join the BJP.
He denied that any clash of ego between him and TMC leader Dr Mukul Sangma is the reason why the two parties are not coming together despite being partners in the opposition INDIA bloc.
Stating that the decision was taken with the full approval of the Congress’ central leadership, Pala disclosed that he and other leaders of the party had approached Sangma and requested him to return to the party or work together with it but the former Chief Minister instead asked them to join the TMC.
Predicting a straight contest between Congress and NPP in the Tura seat, Pala said the BJP will do much better than TMC in the Garo Hills.
“BJP will get more votes than TMC in Garo Hills and I think TMC will be the last there,” he said.
It may be mentioned that some top TMC leaders from Garo Hills have joined the Congress while several others pledged to work with the party.


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