The Telegraph
Saturday , September 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Congress scoffs at pre-poll alliances

Shillong, Sept. 14: The ruling Meghalaya Congress today scoffed at political parties that have been seeking pre-poll alliances, saying such parties were uncertain of being voted to power with an absolute majority. “Several political parties are now talking of pre-poll alliances because they are not sure of getting an absolute majority in the Assembly elections,” chief minister Mukul Sangma said at Congress Bhavan.

Sangma was addressing a gathering to welcome former United Democratic Party (UDP) leader and chairman of the Grand Council of Chiefs of Meghalaya, John Filmore Kharshiing, who formally joined the Congress today.

Ruling out the possibility of the Congress allying with other parties for the polls scheduled for February-March next year, Sangma expressed the hope that the Congress would emerge as the single largest party after the counting of votes and form the government on its own.

He also urged the electorate to support the Congress to ensure that the party secures a landslide victory.

However, the CLP leader said even if his party is voted with an absolute majority, it will work with other parties for the benefit of the state.

Extolling Kharshiing for joining ranks with the Congress, Sangma said the former UDP leader entered the Congress for a “genuine cause” and criticised those who joined political parties for selfish gains. While praising the Congress leadership, Kharshiing said his decision to join the national party was due to the positive response from the UPA government, especially its chairperson Sonia Gandhi, in relation to the demand to implement the commitments made in the Instrument of Accession (IOA) and Annexed Agreement entered between the 25 Khasi States and the Centre. “Facts reveal that it is the Congress which has brought in programmes and introduced legislation to uplift the condition of the deprived and neglected poor. It is the Congress which has provided sustenance to our people in times of prosperity, courage and strength in times of diversity,” Kharshiing said.

He added that the Congress has been the principal national party, which has introduced policies of affirmative action for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Kharshiing, who joined the Congress along with 150 of his friends and supporters, also vowed to work hard to ensure the Congress’ victory in the upcoming polls.

“I also appeal to the citizens of Meghalaya to come forward and provide a clear majority to the Congress in the upcoming elections so that effective, swift, and transparent governance can be made,” he added.