Tura, February 4, 2018
With BJP leaving no stone un-turned to open an account in the one of the most sought after seats in Garo hills, Tikrikilla, it seems the same will not be a cake walk for them given the number of aspirants for the seat.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two days ago announced its first list of candidates for the state of Meghalaya answering the one question that was on everyone’s lips – who will represent Tikrikilla? The answer according to the BJP was former MLA and senior leader, KC Boro, though the question now hangs as to what his rival ticket aspirants will do.
To the uninitiated, the Tikrikilla seat has been one of the targets of the BJP to open their account in Garo Hills this coming election and saw as many as 3 aspirants – including the runner up in the seat the last election – Ruhinath Rabha.
The seat is expected to be fought between independent MLA, Michael T Sangma, the Congress represented by Jimmy D Sangma (brother of MLA Limison D Sangma of Raksamgre), KC Boro, a host of independent candidates including former GSU president of Tikrikilla, Walseng N Sangma as well as Ruhinath, if he decides to contest.
Added to the mix is old Congress warhorse and former MLA from Rajabala, Sayeedullah Nongrum who this time is also contesting from the constituency.
“It’s going to be a huge call to say who will win as all the aspiring candidates look well prepared. Though the BJP may appear to be ahead for the seat, internal bickering could lead to the entire house toppling,” said a local resident when asked.
BJP party insiders had stressed on the importance of the seat to the BJP with many stating that the real fight would begin now after the declaration of the candidate.
“We wanted one of them to represent and the others to support as that would be the ideal situation. However if one of them decides to go ahead as an independent, things may not look as rosy as they are now,” said a party insider.
The hopes of the BJP had been raised after the recent visit by the BJP national president, Amit Shah saw record turnout at the venue. The huge crowds were also witness to promises made by the BJP of improvement of the AMPT road along with development for the region.
“There are so many of us who want to ask all the candidates as to what they were doing during the past five years. Their efforts should have been to ensure overall development of the region and the state. Their lack of vision has led many of us to believe that there is no future for the people,” added another resident of Tikrikilla, pointing to the state of AMPT road as an indicator.
The constituency has a mixed population of people from all denominations with voter bases also divided on similar lines.
Issues like rural infrastructure or the lack of it, unemployment as well as development are likely to be issues confronted by the candidates. However a division of votes according to ethnicity cannot be ruled out.