SHILLONG, Feb 07: The Bharaiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate for the South Shillong seat, Sanbor Shullai predicting that he will end former Minister, Manas Chaudhuri’s political dreams is akin to the former living in a fool’s paradise according to the latter.
“He (Shullai) may have his own pipe-dream. He doesn’t know that there is double trouble for him. He first has a huge burden of anti-incumbency and now he has joined the BJP which is not acceptable to the people of South Shillong,” Chaudhuri said after filing his nomination papers here on Wednesday.
Shullai had claimed on Tuesday that he would defeat the Chaudhuri by a margin of over 15,000 votes and also ensure that this election will be the last in the latter’s political career.
It may be mentioned Chaudhuri decided to return to the ruling Congress, which immediately declared him as candidate from South Shillong, after he was denied ticket by the BJP, which he had joined for eight months.
Stating that South Shillong has around 32,000 voters, Chaudhuri said that out of these, 11,000 voters are Christians and Mohammedan, who are not going to go the BJP way.
“It means one out of three voters in South Shillong is against the BJP. So him (Shullai) winning by 15,000 votes it is a pipedream. He is living in a fool’s paradise. Let him be, but his days are numbered,” Chaudhuri said.
Asserting that people of the constituency cannot be easily fooled as they are intelligent and are well informed, the former Minister said that there is no question of selling this kind of pipe-dream to the people through the media.
Exuding confidence of victory in the upcoming polls, Chaudhuri said that it was providence and an act of God that he was betrayed by the BJP, which did not give him the ticket.
He went on to say that he would have been a defeated man and people would have not accepted him because he had joined the BJP, which is not accepted by majority of the people in Meghalaya.
“So it is an act of providence that in the last moment they betrayed me and did not give me the ticket. Today, I am in Congress and I am comfortable and I am sure that the people will not accept the BJP in South Shillong,” he added.
Chaudhuri said that if he is elected, water supply is going to be his priority besides ensuring that the minimum daily wages for labourers is increased.
He also lamented that the Rs 2 crore MLA scheme was only used to buy articles which have no value to the people, who instead need income and support from the MLA and government to increase their living standards.
“The daily wage earners are struggling to lead a decent life. Therefore my priority to help the poor and downtrodden and I am not making an empty election promise. I have a programme, I want to increase minimum daily wage,” he said.
Chaudhuri informed that labourers today get Rs 260 per day as a minimum wage in Meghalaya which is very little compared to an MLA’s salary.
He recalled that when Meghalaya was created, an MLA used to get only Rs 5,000 as salary but today Meghalaya’s MLA is getting Rs 2 lakh.
“If an MLA’s salary can go up, why can’t the poor people’s daily wage go up? Why has it not been done? I will see that the poor people do not suffer if the Congress comes to power,” he added.