Tuesday, May 21, 2024

NPP worried about retaining Tura seat


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SHILLONG, April 23: A seemingly worried NPP has accused the opposition of misinforming and misleading the voters about its partnership with the BJP.
Training its guns on rival parties has indicated the NPP may be uncertain about retaining the Tura Lok Sabha seat.
Cabinet Minister Rakkam A Sangma said on Tuesday that Agatha Sangma, the NPP candidate, would win the Tura seat by a narrow margin as the contest was unexpectedly tough.
He attributed the possibility to the Trinamool Congress having supported the Congress candidate after the party gave up the fight.
He said the propaganda of the opposition parties to stir religious sentiments against the NPP because of its partnership with the BJP may also have been a factor.
“The NPP never sought the support of the BJP for the polls in Meghalaya but the BJP decided not to field candidates and support us instead,” Rakkam Sangma said, lamenting that the propaganda against his party carried away some church leaders.
However, he said he was unsure if an estimated 90,000 BJP supporters in the Tura parliamentary constituency voted for the NPP. “We will win if they do,” he added.
On Monday, Cabinet Minister Marcuise N Marak predicted a close battle between Agatha Sangma and Congress candidate Saleng A Sangma for the Tura seat.
“It was a tough fight between the NPP and Congress. At the last minute, religious sentiments swayed the people. However, we are hoping to win by a thin margin,” he said.
Claiming that Congress does not have a strong organisational set-up in the Garo Hills, he said religious sentiments and the failure of the TMC to hold on to its vote bank made it a two-party contest.
Marak said the BJP’s support to the NPP triggered the religious sentiments. He felt it impacted the NPP negatively to some extent.
“We tried to explain to them (voters) that it is a coalition and that we are not joining the BJP. They have their ideology and we have ours. We said we tied up for the sake of administration and governance,” he said.


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