In a boost to the Congress, former NCP state president and three times Gambegre legislator Saleng A Sangma and four times MDC of Sutnga-Nongkhlieh Richard Lyngdoh on Monday joined the party ahead of the Assembly polls.
Both the leaders were welcomed by the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief and Shillong MP Vincent H Pala in the presence of AICC media coordinator Mathew Anthony and other party leaders and supporters.
Lyngdoh is all set to contest from the Raliang constituency, which is presently represented by NPP legislator Coming one Ymbon.
Pala said that the wave of the Congress will start from Jaintia Hills to Garo Hills with the joining of the two leaders.
Informing that the Congress is likely to announce the list of its candidates by January 25 or 26, the MPCC chief said, “We have already cleared 57 candidates out of 60. We want to keep a gap of one or two as part of our strategy to fight the elections.”
“I am very confident once we declare the candidates it will change the mindset of the people that Congress is gone. That is the slogan of the BJP but Congress is coming back with stronger, younger, new ideas with the youth and new vision and definitely we should do well,” he added.
Pala will attend a meeting of the screening committee on Tuesday and CEC meeting on Wednesday.
The Congress chief also recalled how Saleng A Sangma was denied a ticket by the former leaders and said, “He was with the youth Congress and he used to go to UP for the election of Rahul Gandhi. He had worked very hard on the ground those days but some people saw he was a threat to them so they denied him the ticket.”
He also expressed confidence that Saleng can influence lots of the youth as a victim and as an experienced leader. “Saleng is one of the brightest politicians who can have a future, he has the personality, he has the courage and he has the capacity. So he is not only a leader in his constituency but he is a leader for the people of Garo Hills as well as people of Meghalaya,” Pala added.
According to him, most of the leaders who have a vision and a mission always look where they can have a proper platform and get a better uniform to ensure proper reforms.
Earlier, Mathew said the two leaders have joined the Congress because they find that the development promises made in Meghalaya were only words and not in letter and spirit.
“Actually the interest of Meghalaya was compromised and surrendered in many areas. That’s the reason why leaders after getting the pulse from their own followers and constituencies understand that it is only the Congress party which can deliver the required desire and political need of the people of Meghalaya,” he said.
Stating that the Congress is gaining its ground back, the AICC leader said, “We kept moving in slow pace but we never lost touch with the people and that is what we are seeing why people are coming in.”
He said the Congress will soon highlight the issues which the government of Meghalaya compromised the interest of the people of Meghalaya.
Mathew said that Congress does not want to make fake promises.
“We were discussing things with Pala and he was very clear that I don’t want to make fake promises. I only want to make promises which I can deliver because I am answerable to someone else. Even if I know I am going to lose the elections I will not make false promises and that is the biggest confidence we are getting. The faith in which people are coming to Pala and the leadership that is the winning confidence that we have and we are very sure of a victory,” he added.