TURA, Dec 29: In a huge boost to the saffron party, four former MLAs formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the village of Mendal in North Garo Hills on Friday. The four former MLAs included the Tura MLA, Billykid Sangma, Bajengdoba’s John Manner Marak, former Rangsakona MLA, Adolf Lu Hitler Marak and Kharkutta MLA, Omillo K Sangma.
While Omillo and John Manner were senior members of the NPP before resigning, Hitler belonged to the Congress while Billykid (who was also a former state vice president) rejoined the party after resigning for personal reasons.
The joining of the four took place in the presence of over a 1000 party workers who came to attend the ‘karyakarta sammelan’. Their joining also saw the presence of the state president, Shibun Lyngdoh, vice presidents David Kharsutti and Rikman G Momin along with dignitaries from NGH. Digross D Shira, the seat aspirant from Mendipathar and incharge of NGH oversaw proceedings as the chairman.
“We want to ensure the vision of the Narendra Modi led BJP government to come to Meghalaya so that things can change for the better. Don’t believe in propaganda being spread about the party being anti Christian or anti Muslim. Our agenda of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ encompasses everyone and these lies will not last,” said Shibun Lyngdoh while addressing the crowd.
Shibun also berated the dynastic rule in both the Congress and the NPP stating that the BJP was the only party that had allowed for development of people based on their capability and not on family.
“Our government has only spoken of development and that is what we want to bring to Meghalaya as well. A change needs to happen and that is why you have to work hard to spread the message. The BJP led government at the centre has shown the path forward for the country and that is why 19 states in the country have embraced the BJP. Meghalaya needs the same as well,” said party vice president Kharsutti to the gathering.
Kharsatti also hit out at the NPP for forgoing experience when it came to looking forward.
“How can they be blind and let go someone like John Manner in whose house more than 300 people come daily for help? This just shows the stupidity of the NPP,” he added.
Former Kharkutta MLA, OK Sangma once again hit out at the NPP for their attitude in dealing with seniors of the party. “We were the founders of the party along with late PA Sangma and their treatment of us has left a bad impression. For us the BJP is the way forward in the state and thus we joined the party,” said Sangma.
Former Congressman Hitler Marak, who was also to stand from Bajengdoba in NGH openly stated his support for the candidature of John Manner while joining the BJP.
“For decades the Congress has ruled the state but where is the development. This time I will stand behind John Manner for the upcoming elections as he deserves the chance to be a part of the ruling coalition to effect development and we are certain the BJP will be leading the next government,” said Hitler during his speech.
Former Tura MLA, Billykid vented his anger at the CM, Dr Mukul Sangma for the neglect shown towards Tura, the principal town of Tura while only looking after his own constituency.
“Tura has remained the same with no development taking place over the past decade. Everything has gone towards Ampati,” he said.
Hitting out further at Mukul Billykid stated that the sobriquet of being the most corrupt CM in the country seemed to be true as there has been no retort by the CM on the matter despite the gravity of the allegations.
“This is not a good sign for the state and we cannot allow such corrupt leaders to be leading the state in the coming future,” he stated while adding that he chose to join the party as it was through the Centre that the state could develop and being a part of the BJP would allow for a direct connection to New Delhi.