Shillong: Congress President Rahul Gandhi will on January 30 launch his party’s election campaign for the February 27 Meghalaya Assembly elections, a party official said on Friday.
Gandhi’s visit is significant for the Congress that has witnessed the exit of seven legislators while three other senior legislators, including four-time Chief Minister D.D. Lapang, have declared themselves “retired” from electoral politics.
Of the seven legislators who quit the party, five have joined the National People’s Party. Alexander Hek, who was Health and Family Welfare Minister in the Mukul Sangma Cabinet before being sacked in 2017, joined the BJP, while Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council Chief Executive Member P.N. Syiem joined the newly-floated People’s Democratic Front.
Gandhi will address a rally at Tpep Pale playground in Jowai, the district headquarters of West Jaintia Hills to drum up support for his party candidates in the seven assembly constituencies. State Congress Working President Vincent H. Pala said that Gandhi will be the “star campaigner” for the Congress in the ensuing assembly elections. “His campaign would surely create a wave for the Congress and the party will retain power in Meghalaya,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December kicked off the campaign for the BJP here and attacked the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance government, saying it had created scam after scam while BJP was only for development.
Seeking the electorate’s vote in favour of BJP, Modi said: “The BJP’s agenda is development, speedy development, and all-around development.” Following Modi’s campaign, BJP President Amit Shah launched the campaign in Garo Hills and voiced confidence that the party will overthrow the ruling Congress.