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Pala says BJP-NPP bonhomie will help Cong get more votes

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SHILLONG, March 24: State Congress chief and party’s Shillong candidate Vincent H Pala is least bothered about the BJP’s decision to not contest the Lok Sabha elections in Meghalaya and instead, support the National People’s Party (NPP).
Pala is confident about garnering 80 per cent of BJP votes in the Shillong seat. He said the remaining 20 per cent of BJP votes will go to other parties.
The Shillong MP said it was evident from the BJP-NPP camaraderie that the two are basically the same. The decision also makes it very clear that the NPP is controlling the BJP in Meghalaya, he added.
“BJP may be with NPP and NPP may be with BJP, but the voters of Shillong parliamentary constituency are with me,” Pala asserted.
With the BJP deciding to opt out, all political parties are doing their own calculations on how to get 70,000 to 95,000 BJP votes in the Shillong seat.
Pala said years of hard work, not marketing people joining a political party, helps win elections.
Stating that there are hundreds of people joining the Congress, he said, “Very few are joining the NPP but they have marketed it well. We know for what purpose some left their party and joined NPP.”
“In (Lok Sabha) elections, you need at least 4 lakh votes out of 10 lakhs. So, it does not depend on one or two people joining or leaving. Your hard work of 15 years will count in the end,” the state Congress chief said.
Some United Democratic Party (UDP) leaders from Ri-Bhoi joined NPP recently. Talking about it, he said, “I don’t think NPP will do well in Ri-Bhoi in Lok Sabha elections.”
He said as they left UDP and joined NPP, the latter will now have an extra burden as the new entrants will have to be appointed as chairman, vice chairman etc. According to him, the moment they start getting various posts, people will know whether they joined NPP for personal benefit or in the interest of the public.
“People know who is who. We live in a small state, so I don’t think the public can be fooled by these people going here and there,” Pala said.
He said the Congress’ advantage is that most parties, including BJP, think only for a section of people they want and one religion, one culture and one language.
According to him, the UDP is a regional party and it has its own advantages and disadvantages while the NPP is facing a strong anti-incumbency wave. As regards the Voice of the People Party, he said people know the intentions of the party which is trying to get the people from rural areas by committing things which are not possible.
“The plus point for the Congress is that I have been there for the past 15 years. People know what I have done and what I have not. Our MLAs have performed well in the Assembly elections. The leaders may have gone but the workers are there on the ground. We have our presence in all polling stations,” he added.

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