Tuesday, July 23, 2024

VPP confident on eve of counting, others hopeful


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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 3: An anxious wait of 45 days is all set to end on Tuesday morning when the counting of votes will be held for the two Lok Sabha seats in Meghalaya.
The mood in the Voice of the People Party camp is jubilant on the eve of counting with the party leaders confident about snatching the prestigious Shillong Parliamentary seat from the hands of sitting Lok Sabha member and Congress candidate Vincent H Pala.
As for the other political parties, they are keeping their fingers crossed with the hope that the results would be in their favour.
The VPP is also the only party to have publicly claimed that party candidate Ricky AJ Syngkon will win the Shillong seat by a margin of over one lakh votes.
Pala, though confident that he will repeat his performance and set a record by winning the Shillong seat for a fourth time, remains wary of the strong challenge from the VPP.
Psephologists in the state expect the Congress to have a slight edge in the five Assembly constituencies in Ri-Bhoi, two Assembly constituencies in South West Khasi Hills and all the seven Assembly constituencies in Jaintia Hills.
They also expect the VPP to score well in majority of the 15 Assembly constituencies in East Khasi Hills, the three Assembly constituencies in West Khasi Hills and the two Assembly constituencies in Eastern West Khasi Hills District.
A senior Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, admitted that the calculations of the sitting MP was undone by the massive wave in favour of the VPP. Pala, who bagged the maximum support in Jaintia Hills in the last three elections, is witnessing a dent in his home turf due to the VPP wave.
Political pundits expect the fight in Shillong seat to be primarily between the VPP and the Congress, relegating the National People’s Party to the third position and the UDP-HSPDP combination to the fourth position.
As far as the Tura seat is concerned, contrary to expectations, all political parties including the NPP have admitted that Congress candidate Saleng A Sangma has put up a tough fight in the bastion of the Purno Agitok Sangma family which has ruled the constituency for decades.
NPP leaders are, however, hopeful that Agatha will scrape through with a slender margin. Some NPP leaders stated that everything was going in favour of Agatha months before the elections but the situation turned on its head when the BJP decided to skip the polls in Meghalaya and extend support to the NPP, giving the opposition leaders the ammunition to link the NPP and the BJP as tag teams.
NPP president and Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma had even sought votes for his party in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving the opposition the opportunity to showcase the NPP’s close ties with the BJP, known for its Hindutva politics which does not curry favours with a vast chunk of the population in the Christian-majority state.
Although the NPP made attempts to shrug off its ties with the BJP, the VPP and the Congress used it to score political points in the run-up to the polls.
All said and done, the final outcome will be known in a few hours as Meghalaya and the entire nation await the results that will decide the course of the nation for the next five years.


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