SHILLONG: As the Meghalaya Assembly by-poll to the Shella constituency draws closer, political parties are equipping themselves with strategies to win the hearts of voters and earn an extra seat in the House of 60.
Shella, a stronghold of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has long been held by former Speaker, late Dr Donkupar Roy till his death.
Now, parties are putting all their cards on the table with a hope to snatch the seat from the UDP, though political analysts are of the view that Shella will remain with the UDP.
Two of the allies of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) – People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – have not responded to the call of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and went ahead with the decision to contest the bye-election to the Shella Assembly constituency.
The UDP had earlier urged the partners of the MDA to support party candidate, Balajied Kupar Synrem, who is also the son of former Speaker, late Dr Donkupar Roy.
Meanwhile, the BJP today decided to field social worker, Joshua Warjri as the party candidate for the Shella by-election.
The formal announcement of Warjri’s candidature was announced by BJP MLA from South Shillong, Sanbor Shullai at the party office in the presence of BJP State president, Shibun Lyngdoh and other senior leaders.
“We have decided to field the candidate to expand the presence of the party. We are looking to win the by-election,” Shullai said.
Replying to a query, he said that even the PDF had put up a candidate despite it being part of the ruling coalition Government in the State.
Meanwhile, BJP State president said that the BJP vote bank in Shella is very strong adding that the party in recent enrollment drives has enrolled more than 5,000 members in Shella. Interestingly, member of BJP Shella Mandal, Shembhalang L Khain yesterday had announced to join the fray after he was told by the party leadership that the party will not put candidate for the by-election.
Khain will be contesting as an independent candidate. It looks like Chyne has been misled by the BJP state president about the party not contesting the election.
The member of the Shella Mandal claimed that he has had talks with the BJP State president who informed that the party would not contest the election.
Earlier, the PDF had decided to field ‘strawberry man’ Leston Wanswett younger brother, Mosjo Rockfeller Wanswett for the bye-election in Shella Assembly constituency. It may be mentioned that the NPP party unit in Shella had decided to recommend the name of Wanswett for the party ticket to contest the bye-election.
However, the NPP State unit later decided not to contest the bye-election and to support the UDP candidate, Balajied Kupar Synrem. Following this decision of the NPP, Wanswett was left with no option but to seek PDF ticket.