Shillong, Aug 09 (IANS): Congress leader and Meghalaya's Urban Affairs Minister, Ronnie V. Lyngdoh, on Wednesday expressed doubt that the BJP would win even a single seat in the assembly elections next year.
The veteran Congress leader was reacting to BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli who claimed that a non-Congress government will be formed in Meghalaya after the assembly elections.
"I think Nalin Kohli is not in a right state of mind while uttering that a non-Congress government will be formed in Meghalaya. I doubt whether they (BJP) will win a single seat. Therefore, how can he talk of forming a non-Congress government," Lyngdoh said.
"Meghalaya is not UP (Uttar Pradesh). We are conscious people and the electorate also cast their votes consciously. I don't think the electorate here would vote for a party (BJP) which is creating an atmosphere of intolerance, be it food habits or attack on religious institutions," he stated.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kohli said, "A non-Congress government is a certainty as of today as we assess the situation. Now, the only question is who is going to be in that non-Congress government and how many seats those parties will secure."
"I do not think that they are going to win the third term in Meghalaya," he added.
However, Lyngdoh was confident that the Congress will yet again form the government next year for its pro-development activities across the state.
He also rubbished Kohli's claim that many of the Congress legislators are in touch with the BJP.
"No Congress legislator will join the BJP as they know that people will not vote for a party which promotes communal tensions and divide by dictating someone's food habits and religious beliefs."
Asked if the sacking of two Congress ministers - Prestone Tynsong and Sniawbhalang Dhar - would affect his party's prospects in next year's elections, Lyngdoh said, "The cabinet reshuffle was necessary to allow other legislators to entrust new responsibilities to the newly inducted ministers while the other two leaders (Tynsong and Dhar) will be assigned new responsibilities."
Elections to the 60-member state assembly are scheduled to be held in February-March 2018.