SHILLONG, Feb 07: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is finding it hard to garner support in Meghalaya, according to former Minister, Manas Chaudhuri who said that his stint in the state BJP has revealed this fact.
“The BJP has been trying to penetrate into Meghalaya for so many months, but where is the acceptance of the BJP because I was in BJP and found it is very difficult as Christians and religious minorities have not accepted the BJP in Meghalaya,” he said.
Chaudhuri opined that this is because the Christians, the Muslims and other groups are aware of the BJP’s agenda.
Stating that it will not be easy to sell the BJP’s idea in Meghalaya, he said that every day in the media there are reports about the BJP’s fringe community and groups indulging in all kinds of vandalism.
“The BJP has tried to give a sop of Rs 70 crore for religious pilgrimage but that is too little and too late. It is not working as we have seen that churches have not accepted it and this shows minorities have not accepted the BJP’s idea,” he said.
Chaudhuri opined that one cannot expect Christians who are a minority in India to accept the BJP when there is an intrusion into their rights.
The former Minister also said that he had worked at the grassroot level when he joined the BJP, eight months ago, and he was given the responsibility of organizing the party and selling the idea of the BJP.
“I worked for eight months and my experience tells me that the people of Meghalaya will accept me but they don’t like the BJP. That was the common refrain everywhere I went,” he said.
Chaudhuri had decided to return to the Congress after the BJP denied him ticket from South Shillong and the same was given to former legislator Sanbor Shullai.
“Now that the party (BJP) has rejected me it came out to be boon for me. I am so grateful to God to give me this opportunity to be back in my former party and the Congress is going to capture power in March,” he said.
Expressing confidence that the ruling Congress will come back to power in Meghalaya, Chaudhuri said, “We are sure that the party is destined to retain power in the state.”
Admitting that the BJP had offered him the Rajya Sabha seat, Chaudhuri said that he had conveyed that he is not interested in being a member of the Rajya Sabha from other states.
“Although it would have been personal glory for me that I am a member of Rajya Sabha but I am not looking for personal glory and that is why I have not taken the offer. I belong to this place I must work for this place,” he said.
Chaudhuri also said that the reason he had not opted to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is because it is a “dead” party.