The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Congress aims at simple majority

- Independent MLA appeals to voters to end fractured mandate

Shillong, Jan. 27: The Congress today gave a clarion call to the electorate to vote the party to power with a thumping majority in the February 2013 polls to stabilise and develop politically unstable Meghalaya.

The call assumes significance as the state, which has so far seen eight elections to the Assembly, has voted a party with a simple majority on only one occasion. In 1972, when Meghalaya became a full-fledged state, then All Party Hill Leaders’ Conference (APHLC) managed to bag 32 seats out of 60.

From 1978 onwards the state is witnessing fractured mandates.

“The underdevelopment that we see in Meghalaya today is a result of the unstable nature of Meghalaya politics,” journalist-turned-politician Manas Chaudhuri said while addressing a public meeting here this evening.

Chaudhuri, who is a two-time Independent legislator, will contest as a Congress nominee from South Shillong constituency.

Among others, he will have to compete with Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Chaudhuri said the politics of aaya Ram gaya Ram where a new chief minister is sworn in at regular intervals, has been distressing for the state which is still suffering from underdevelopment.

“The regional parties here are not strong enough and after the elections they work with the Congress. So the people should give only one person and one party a chance to uninterruptedly rule the state for five years,” he said.

Chaudhuri also expressed shock that there were several poor families in the city though government funds have been pumped in to alleviate poverty.

The legislator was optimistic that his party will be able to win at least half of the total Assembly seats in the state.

On his joining the Congress, he said it was difficult for him to make things move just by speaking from the Opposition benches.

“Nothing has happened no matter how much time and effort I had put to raise important issues from the Opposition benches. If you want to change, you have to be inside,” Chaudhuri said.

The secretary of the All-India Mahila Congress, Poonam Rani Wangkhem, who is also in-charge of Congress women in Meghalaya, said it is the Congress alone which can provide stability to governance throughout the country.

“In states where non-Congress governments are ruling, people are facing many problems. It is only the Congress which can provide stability,” Wangkhem said.

Chaudhuri was also made to ponder when Wangkhem highlighted the fact that in his constituency, there were more women voters than men.

The overall picture of the electorate in Meghalaya is such that there are more women voters.

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