SHILLONG, May 17: The decision to stand behind his brother in law’s bid for candidature in the upcoming 2018 state elections dies not ammount to ‘anti - party’ activities according to incumbent Meghalaya Power Minister, Sniawbhalang Dhar who made an impromptu presentation of his case on Wednesday.
It may be noted here that Dhar has openly declared that he will stand behind his brother in law who is seeking a Congress party ticket from Jowai constituency which is also the same constituency represented by Dhar’s party – mate, Professor RC Laloo.
This decision is however not without repercussions for Dhar as the Jowai Block Congress Committee (JBCC) has also sought the intervention of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) to ensure that the Power portfolio is taken away from Dhar as punishment for openly announcing Wailad Shylla as a candidate as opposed to his own party member and Cabinet colleague.
“He (Shylla) is my brother-in-law and is also a Congress man for the past nine years. He is also one of the aspirants for the party ticket from the constituency (Jowai),” Dhar informed at the sidelines of a party meeting held here.
The Jowai Block Congress Committee has recently demanded that Dhar is dropped from the State Cabinet for his alleged “anti-party activities” in the constituency represented by Laloo in West Jaintia Hills District.
Stating that the allegation of anti-party activity is totally wrong, Dhar however said, “I have never projected him (Shylla). In fact, he was projected by his own village (Mukhla) but it so happened that he is my brother-in-law.”
In what may come as a threat to Laloo who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, Dhar, while announcing his full support to Shylla, said that he would also push for his brother-in-law to get the Congress ticket.
“As of now, the party is yet to declare the official candidates and in view of this everybody has the right to apply for party ticket. Mow where the question of anti-party activity in this,” he asked.
Dhar went on by citing the instances in the past where sitting legislators were denied tickets by the Congress party.
“Proof is there where many sitting MLAs were denied tickets by the party, for instance in the case of Umroi constituency (in which ticket was given to his brother Ngaitlang Dhar, who also won in 2013),” he said.
Hinting that this may also be repeated in Jowai Constituency, Dhar said, “You will never know because the granting of a ticket will be based on “winnability” which is the culture of the Congress party.”
Refuting the allegation that he was not in good terms with Laloo, he said, “There is no such misunderstanding between us and I have always respected him (Laloo) as a senior leader.”
Meanwhile, Dhar also rubbished allegations that he would contest the upcoming elections from the National People’s Party (NPP).
“Well that is other people’s opinion and not mine because I will contest from the Congress. I am with the party and the party is with me,” he said while exuding confidence that the Congress would come back to power in 2018.